Let’s get the gratuitous Stapleton worship out of the way. I totally agree with you, he’s a different kind of great. One that you just want to hear, want to route for and then ultimately, tell your friends “I told you so” when he wins, cause you knew how badass he was a long time ago.
I wrote with him a while back and truly did get to hear, up close, how amazing he is. Just in the room with an acoustic guitar singing “blah, blah” makeshift, mumbly lyrics…it was killer. Magic.
But I’m not the rabid fan. I followed from afar. I got the latest album and dig it a lot and completely see why it’s created a little spark-turned-inferno. But I’m not that hard-core guy. Never saw the Steel Drivers (sacrilege in some parts of Tennessee). Don’t have his “old stuff”.
FUN FACT: You know who is one of those “hard-cores”? Adele (the other “current coolest person in music”). She covered a Steel Drivers/Stapleton penned song for the Euro release of her 21 album. Cool, huh?
So, he is on top of the music world right now. Dude has a night like the one he had a few nights ago. Where the stars line up. Performance with Justin Timberlake (that tore faces off from gritty to glitzy) followed up by a handful, no armful of awards.
Country music is fine. Okay more like on fire. So, it doesn't need a savior. But, what will that night and Chris’ success do to the genre?
Probably, not much. There’s still gonna be the kind of stuff on the radio that some people write off as “not credible”. Still gonna be the staples: those artists who release albums and just get played. A newcomer will blow up that we’d never heard about 3 months ago, etc, etc. They’ll be a duo or two, a band here or there.
But what about that special talent that doesn’t fit into a box? Like Stapleton. Will labels take a chance? Will radio?
Hell, will radio take a chance on Chris Stapleton?
Here’s hoping they do. That a chance is given to that chick or dude or band that doesn’t fit immediately and easily into the world that a lot of folks call country music. What if it throws back a little or pushes the limits. What if his hairs too long or he’s a little rough around the edges? What if she sings about things that might be a little extreme? Maybe they’ll get the shot they might not have a few months ago.
Here’s the deal. There might not be a seismic shift in country music. The Stapleton effect might not be anything other than…Chris Stapleton.
Oh, alright. We’ll take it. (And plus: now we got new Adele).