Single Review: Chris Stapleton, “Traveller”

Chris Stapleton Traveller

Chris Stapleton

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.

Grade: A+


  1. I wonder when was the last song from any of you guys got an A+ I thought I’d never see a grade like that.

  2. I cannot wait to sit down and listen to this album. I rarely do that with music sadly more often playing it as I study or when I am commuting, but I think this album will deserve just that.

    Great singer, great songs and a great producer in Dave Cobb to help pull it all together. The preview tracks that have been released have been great so far, as good as “Traveller” is, “When The Stars Come Out” is also filled with great lyrics and Stapleton’s always great vocals.

  3. Even though NPR has a listen link up already, I’ve been purposefully avoiding listening to the album before release day. It’s a new quirk that I’ve developed where I want to wait until release day to listen to an album that I’m excited about, though I’ll listen to Amazon previews ahead of time, which sound great for this album. I’ve heard a live version of “Daddy Doesn’t Pray Anymore” and I was excited to see that it’ll be on the album, because it’s a great song too.

  4. This is the type of country song I can get behind. I’m looking for more albums like Kacy Musgraves or Brandy Clark brought out and based on this song Stapleton’s album might be the 2015 version of those two albums (12 Stories and Same Trailer, Different Park). I can hear a little Kenny Rogers in this guys voice, and the back up vocals are beautiful.

  5. Greg,
    In case it was lost in the review, the background vocals are by his wife, Morgane Hayes Stapleton, who is also a successful songwriter in her own right. I agree that her background vocal is beautiful.

  6. Don’t know that this is worth an A+, unless grading on a curve, but it certainly is a nice effort, with good lyrics, nice harmonies, a recognizable country sound and a decent vocal.

    If this song is a harbinger of how the album will sound, sign me up

  7. I only just now discovered this song, and the album in general. Holy crap it’s good. Give this guy all the awards.

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