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Chris Stapleton – Starting Over With Brilliance

Chris Stapleton’s ‘Starting Over’ Reviewed

Photo: LTTL

Chris Stapleton

‘Starting Over’

Out Now

By Rob Dickens

From bluegrass band vocalist to country hit songwriter through to a stellar solo career of three albums and a touring juggernaut. Winner of Grammys (five-times) , Country Music Awards (ten) and an Americana Music Association gong to boot. It was getting a little difficult to imagine Chris Stapleton’s career trajectory not hitting a ceiling at some point.

Until Starting Over, which evidences that his artistic journey may be pretty much unstoppable.

With this album (released November 13 via Mercury Records), Stapleton proves to be one of the true originals, putting together fourteen tracks which cover the gamut of just about every good musical genre, all infused with his customary emotion, lyrical chops and passioned delivery.

There’s the Creedence Clearwater Revival swamp groove of “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice”, the searing, bluesy ballad of “Cold” (clip below) and the loving tribute to his wife and co-collaborator Morgane Stapleton in “Joy Of My Life”.

“Maggie’s Song”, which celebrates the life of a cherished dog, has the lilting simplicity reminiscent of The Band’s classic “The Weight”. There is the serious rock treatment in “Arkansas” and “Whiskey Sunrise”, the slithering bass (akin to Lou Reed’s “Walk On The Wild Side”) echoed in “Old Friends” and the classic rhythm ‘n blues of “You Should Probably Leave”. The records ends perfectly with a soft and warm ode to Music City “Nashville TN”.

Starting Over may well be Stapleton’s best album yet (surpassing even his solo debut Traveler).

In fact, Starting Over may well be the album of the year. It was completed in February just before the pandemic hit and it is just what a weary and worried population is thirsting for.

Starting Over again has Stapleton in Nashville’s historic RCA Studio A (with extras at Muscle Shoals Sound and Compass Sound Studio). In addition to Dave Cobb (acoustic guitar), the record features Morgane Stapleton (vocals, tambourine), with J.T. Cure (bass) and Derek Mixon (drums). Special guests include Mike Campbell (electric guitar), Benmont Tench (Hammond B3 organ) and Paul Franklin (pedal steel) as well as the All Voices Choir who are featured on “Watch You Burn”.

Here’s a live take of the opening (and title) track from the 2020 CMA Awards:

Here’s the lyric video for “Cold”:

Track List – Starting Over

1 Starting Over

2 Devil Always Made Me Think Twice

3 Cold

4 When I’m With You

5 Arkansas

6 Joy Of My Life

7 Hillbilly Blood

8 Maggie’s Song

9 Whiskey Sunrise

10 Worry B Gone

11 Old Friends

12 Watch You Burn

13 You Should Probably Leave

14 Nashville, TN

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Chris Stapleton’s ‘Starting Over’ Reviewed

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Author: Rob Dickens

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