Written by Chris Stapleton
With all of the lamenting that many of us do regarding mainstream country music, those of us who are practical are aware of the conflict of knowing that the songs that we would choose to be played on radio must at least maintain a balance of quality songwriting and sounding country while still being accessible to a mainstream audience, which is what much of nineties country music did so well.
Chris Stapleton’s “Traveller” is a wonderfully written song that contemplates the feeling that life takes us down many uncertain roads, but even beyond that, Stapleton makes it feel both precarious and invigorating all at once: “I couldn’t tell you, honey/I don’t know/Where I’m going/But I’ve got to go/’Cause every turn reveals some other road and I’m a traveller.”
Best known for his many songwriter credits, Stapleton doesn’t have a stereotypical songwriter’s voice. He doesn’t even have a somewhat more flattering stereotypical singer-songwriter’s voice. His voice is the best friend a song could ever have. his hard driving, soulful pipes deserve critical and mainstream recognition more than anyone on radio’s current playlist.
In fact, if asked what I wish country music sounded like today, “Traveller”, with it’s engaging and accessible production and superb vocal (assisted by his songwriter wife, Morgane Hayes Stapleton), would be the first song that I would use as an example.