Review: Chris Stapleton – Traveller (Universal Music Canada)

StapletonDespite most modern country bearing the hallmarks of pop music, Chris Stapleton is here to show us that some artists are willing to dedicate themselves to returning the genre to its roots. Stapleton has already penned hits for the likes of George Strait and Darius Rucker, but on his solo debut effort Traveller, he largely eschews clichés, bells and whistles, in favour of drawing the listener in with stories and songs that have been executed with the utmost of simplicity. This forté of Stapleton’s, undoubtedly influenced by country legends Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard, is best exemplified on powerful ballads “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore,” and “Whiskey and You,” along with the album-opening title track, and the mid-tempo “Parachute.” If you’re someone that has wondered where real country music has gone, Chris Stapleton has your answer.