Chris Stapleton came in to my life courtesy of Spotify’s Discover Weekly playlist which I have to say has added some great songs and artists to my music collection. Having looked at his Wikipedia page he has written some pretty famous songs over the last few years but Traveller is his big break and with his voice and songwriting ability it’s a well deserved big break. I will admit that I don’t remember which song of his I heard first. I definitely heard “Tennessee Whiskey” before any other track off this album but I also heard The Jompson Brothers song “Barely Alive” on Discover Weekly. I had never heard of The Jompson Brothers and didn’t realise it was Chris Stapleton singing until Wikipedia informed me when I looked him up to see what else he’s done after listening to “Tennessee Whiskey”. It doesn’t really matter which I found first, both are amazing songs, it’s just one of those little things that annoys me.
I realise that “Tennessee Whiskey” is a cover and not an original. “Whiskey and You” had been released before by Tim McGraw but I think was written by Stapleton and as much as my knowledge of country music isn’t great I think all the other songs on Traveller are originals. So with all that out the way I have to say it’s a brilliant album. There is a perfect mixture of slow and fast paced songs, all very easy to connect with, and all showing off Chris Stapleton’s stunning voice. It’s an old school passionate, gritty mixture of rock, country, and blues. He has a very unique voice, sometimes he sounds older and more controlled and sometimes he sounds younger and more powerful but you can always hear the experience in his voice. You can tell he has spent a lot of time honing his craft, and he has written and chosen some songs that compliment his voice and allow him to show everything that he’s learnt.
There are 14 songs on Traveller and every single one could have their own page because they’re all so different so I’ll just talk about the few favourites I have. I’ll start with “Traveller”, the most upbeat song on the album and a very happy song to start off the album with. It’s quite a slow album generally so it makes the faster songs seem that much better. So this song as well as “Parachute” are cherishable. They’re good mood songs but at the same time just as relaxing as the rest of the album.
“Whiskey and You” and “The Devil Named Music” fight it out for the best song on the album for me. Both very different and both exceptional songs. As I said before his unique voice just makes these songs so emotional and it makes for beautiful listening. Nothing about his vocals are perfect, but it’s that grit and emotion that make his music so easy to connect with and these two songs do that so well for me. They’re not exactly head and shoulders above the rest of the album and it’s so hard to pick a favourite because the entire album is so good, but first time listening to the album these two stuck out for me and have done ever since.
Listening to the album more and more “Might as Well Get Stoned” and “Nobody to Blame” have also become favourites of mine but as I said at the beginning of talking about this album, every single song could have its own post it is that good of an album.
Discover Weekly has not been so kind to me recently but I am very grateful to Spotify for introducing me to Chris Stapleton and I look forward to hearing more from him in the future. I would highly recommend Traveller to anyone who likes the rock/country or country/blues blend because there are some fantastic songs to listen to on this album.