Artist of My Year: Chris Stapleton

 

2017 has been a fascinating year to put it into neutral terms.

My year was full of tears, growth, and joy. It isn’t even over yet, but this post isn’t about the reflection of just me through the year. It’s a reflection on how the music of one man helped create some of the best moments of my year.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with Chris Stapleton, he’s an amazing song writer and performer. He jumped onto the country scene a few years ago with his album Traveller. Even though he had been on the scene for years as a song writer and band member. The most notable song the masses know from his first studio album as a solo artist is Tennessee Whiskey. The song wasn’t even written by him, but it was a much needed cover. It was a beautiful song with gruff and equally beautiful vocals. When I went to see him in July, it’s one of the songs I was looking forward to hearing the most. Of course he sang it last, and it made me so happy. You should also check out the band he was in The Steeldrivers, awesome band with and without him.

His two albums of the year From A Room:Volume 1 & 2, were just as, if not more amazing than his first.

In a year that was tough for me emotionally, Mr. Stapleton helped give my feelings a voice. He put words to things I could not describe, and even gave me a lesson in my history. Drawing out the feelings from past that I didn’t properly process and feel. The pain in his voice mirrored mine, and it put love into my heart again.

I have hated country all my life, with an excessively limited exception to one or two people/bands. Brett Eldredge and Rascal Flatts have been the only two, to make the cut throughout my life. Of course, until Chris Stapleton came along and stole my heart. Brett, I will still marry you though…so ya know. Call me.

Mr. Stapleton’s bluesy take on country, taking it back to its roots, gave me absolute life. The loud and intricate use of his guitar has moved my heart and foot. Both of them tapping along to the rhythm of a great musician. The deep and meaningful lyrics he puts with that rhythm help soothe and create conflicts in my soul. These conflicts have been necessary to my growth as a person.

I listened to all three of his albums throughout the year, Volume 2 carrying me through the end. It was just released earlier this month.

Tennessee Whiskey helped give me hope about love. Whiskey and You gave me a perspective on heartbreak when we try to shroud it in alcohol.

Sometimes I Cry put words to walking through life with pain. Constantly trying to put on a brave face with heartbreak and anything else life sends you. To eventually be met with tears because sometimes you just have to cry. Sometimes pain overwhelms you and you have to cry, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Either Way put a rhythm and words to how I felt walking around the house with one of my ex’s. The inevitable feeling that it’s all over and no matter what happens, you will never come to love that person again. You fake it till you make it for the world, and create a hell together for yourselves.

Them Stems was just…dope. Ha. Listen to the song, and then read that. Death Row, though morbid gave me such amazing blues vibes. The lethargic music and scruff of Mr. Stapleton’s voice…just yes.

A Simple Song was a love song about family and life.

“It’s the way it’s alright, when everything goes wrong.”

Finding the joys in everything. Or as I like to say it, finding a glass of water while standing in Hell. Looking at everything you have and still being optimistic. It’s probably my favorite song this year.

Nobody’s Lonely put a delicate spin on rebounding. The pain of two people coming together during heartbreak trying to chalk up love to just an illusion and confusion. Making any excuse for yourself not to feel. Trying to block the feelings by looking to someone else.

Drunkard’s Prayer was beautiful reflection on the hypocrisies of addiction, namely alcohol here. This sense of wanting to be close to God, but holding one’s self back with your own shame.

To Mr. Stapleton, sir, you gave me happiness with your music through pain. Thank you. I have so much love for you, I love you man. Not in a creepy I hate your wife kind of way. You too are way too damn cute for me, the way you sang to her after the concert here. So beautiful, your guys’ love is palpable. I love you as a human, another human travelling through this adventure we call life. I love you as someone who feels like I connect with you, I connect with every piece of pain and love.

You are a beautiful human being who expresses both his faults and his love. You are honest about who you are, and that it was one of the most admirable things anyone can do. From this mixed girl who lives in the city and sits in traffic, I love you country dude. Your music transcends race and color. Love and pain are universal.

When I went to see you in July I went with someone who I thought would help light my heart on fire, but he lit it with the fire of pain and left it to burn. Your music helped me get through that. Those moments of hearing and seeing you on stage will remain with me until the day I die. You weren’t my first concert, but you were by far my favorite. You music helps me face the dysfunction of the denial of emotion and pain. We deny ourselves the ability to feel so often, because we thinks it’s easier. We deny ourselves what is basic to our survival, because we believe it will hinder our survival. When really it’s all integral to our growth.

Your God given talent lights up my life man. The songs I mentioned above are only my select favorites, I love pretty much every song on your albums. I cannot wait to see you again in concert someday. You were awesome here at Blossom. Ha, that rhymed. Sorry…I can’t help it.

Alright maybe I can, I just don’t want to.

I truly wish you get to read this, not for recognition for myself, but because I want you to know just how amazing you are. Through your music I see you have a beautiful way with words and perspective on life.

May God bless you and your family as your art has blessed me, and I am sure many others.

Much love to you.

EAMG

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