Are you listening to Chris Stapleton? If the answer is yes, you're ahead of the game. If the answer is no, you need to hop aboard that train because it's bound for glory.
Stapleton's incredibly soulful combination of country, rock and blues has made him a favorite in Nashville through his work with the SteelDrivers and the Jompson Brothers, but he's also gained mainstream acclaim for writing some major country hits. Let's face it, if you've never heard of those two bands, chances are you didn't know the co-writer of Josh Turner's "Your Man" and Kenny Chesney's "Never Wanted Nothing More" could sing like that.
His solo debut single, "What Are You Listening To," is a fabulous introduction to Stapleton's music. Thursday night (Oct. 31) at his first annual Beards, Boos and Brews event at Nashville's 3rd and Lindsley music venue, the crowd enjoyed acoustic versions of songs like "If It Hadn't Been for Love" and the SteelDrivers' "Where Rainbows Never Die." Ronnie Bowman, a renowned bluegrass picker and Stapleton's fellow hit co-writer, even jumped up to guest on a song while Stapleton's singer-songwriter wife Morgan sang beautiful backup vocals throughout the night.
Among other memorable moments during the show were a Jompson Brothers song called "Midnight Drive," a cover of Don Williams' "Tulsa Time" and the incredibly seductive "You Should Probably Leave," which stopped me dead in my tracks.
Stapleton is currently working on his debut album for Mercury Records. Oh, and there's another song you definitely should be on the lookout for -- a track called "The Right Ones." Try to stay in your seat while listening to this one.
So the next time someone asks "Hey, what are you listening to?" do them a favor and say "Chris Stapleton. And you should be, too."