Traveller by Chris Stapleton – A Country Music Review

Chris Stapleton is a big country music star.  His 2015 debut solo album Traveller was double platinum and went to number 1 on Billboard.  But I only heard of him when I looked up a song that was on the soundtrack of the movie Hell or High Water that I watched last year.  That was the song “Outlaw State of Mind.”  So, I figured I’d buy the album it was released on and that was “Traveller.”  Chris Stapleton is a very successful songwriter with his songs being sung by country artists such as Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Brad Paisley and Dierks Bentley.  And when you listen to this album you realize he is a fantastic lyricist.  It is filled with great music.  There are all kinds of different songs, songs about love, heartache, addiction, music, God and working-class alienation.  There’s plenty of good stuff on it but being the romantic that I am my favorite song on the album is a love song called “More of You.”  It’ a mandolin accompaniment to a husband describing his undying love for his wife.  As a man married for almost a lifetime to a woman as stubborn and aggravating as Camera Girl no one is more aware of the homicidal impulses that can awaken in a husband’s tortured mind when such a woman really tries to twist the knife.  But I also know the flipside, which is that a good marriage is the best thing that can happen to a man.  This song captures that good side.  It is simple, tender and beautiful.

Traveller is a good country album.  Give it a try.

Hell or High Water Soundtrack – A Country Music Review

So this is the companion to my review of the movie “Hell or High Water” movie.  The film brings up to the present day the Texas outlaw genre.  The music is a mixture of evocative movie background instrumental and then songs from various artists that speak to the theme.   The artists, Townes Van Zandt, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Waylon Jennings, Colter Wall,  Scott H. Biram and Chris Stapleton are far from uniform in their styles or even genre.  I believe Van Zandt is considered a folk music singer/songwriter but the songs fit the theme and even the instrumental pieces provided by Nick Cave & Warren Ellis fit together well and qualify as actual music and not just sound effects.  I’ve listed the non-instrumental songs below.  All in all, an enjoyable album of music.  Recommended for when you’re feeling like an outlaw which for me lately is most of the time.

Dollar Bill Blues
by Townes Van Zandt

Dust of the Chase
by Ray Wylie Hubbard

You Ask Me To
by Waylon Jennings

Sleeping On The Blacktop
by Colter Wall

Blood, Sweat and Murder
by Scott H. Biram

Outlaw State Of Mind
by Chris Stapleton