An incredible songwriter and artist, Chris Stapleton has taken his career to the next level over the course of the last few years, especially having the number one song in the country right now with “Starting Over”. We are celebrating his birthday today by highlighting 5 lesser-known songs that we think you will fall in love with after one listen.
1. “Either Way”
“Either Way” was written by Stapleton, Tim James, and Kendell Marvel. It was initially recorded by Lee Ann Womack for her album Call Me Crazy that was released in 2008 and took home the Best Country Solo Performance at the 60th Grammy Awards. Stapleton then released it on his own project From A Room: Volume 1 in 2017.
The country ballad depicts the heartache that stems at the beginning of the end of a trying relationship. His vocals shine and gently compliment the acoustic arpeggios and fretwork.
2. “Death Row”
“Death Row” hosts a darker lyrical content than “Either Way,” but is on the same album. Written nearly a decade before the release of From A Room: Volume 1 in 2017 with former bandmate Mike Henderson, the song struck lightning as Stapleton stated that the song became the favorite on the album. It’s a straight-up blues song that depicts the simplicity of a guitar riff coupled with minimalistic percussion.
3. “What Are You Listening To”
“What Are You Listening To” came long before Stapleton’s three critically acclaimed records. This song was penned with Lee Thomas Miller and came at the time when Stapleton was mainly writing for other prominent country music artists. “You’re in every line / Takes me back in time / Yeah tonight I’m wondering / What are you listening to?”
4. “Watch You Burn”
“Watch You Burn” is on Stapleton’s latest record Starting Over. Produced by Dave Cobb, the record debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200. This song was written with Mike Campbell and over the course of four short minutes, Stapleton unleashes his fiery anger about the gunman who opened fire on Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas in 2017.
Anybody in the country music scene and beyond remembers that chilling day as if were yesterday so it wasn’t a surprise to see Stapleton’s story come out in 2020. The song speaks for itself as Stapleton is not shy in issuing his warning, “You’re gonna get your turn, yes, you’re gonna get your turn, son, you’re gonna get your turn, the Devil gonna watch you burn.”
5. “Sometimes I Cry”
It’s no secret that Stapleton has vocal chops. “Sometimes I Cry” is one of his most vocally impressive takes that closes out the singer’s debut album Traveller. The best part is when he humbly spits out “thank you” at the end of the performance. Originally written on a mandolin, this song is laced with vulnerability, grit, and is an ode to sadness. It combats the story of wearing a disguise to appear happy and alright, but ultimately, sometimes it’s just time to break down.
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