I’d never heard of this guy but then I saw facebook friend GB post that he was going to see Chris Stapleton at the Saddledome. GB and I have never met in person. A couple of years back we became acquainted because he noticed my review of Fleetwood Mac live and we connected. Hence; a spirit of spontaneity came over me upon knocking off work an hour and a half prior to show time when I saw that he was going to see this guy Chris Stapleton whom I’ve never heard of. True to the wonder of joy manifestation through simple compelling instinct, I discovered a master craft musician. Someday we’ll meet GB.
Although country is not my genre, this man with his supporting cast including his wife on supporting vocals lead out with a beat atypical of Nashville’s melancholy two stepping simplicity. Instead, his up tempo power chord shredding delivery accompanied with a wide ranging diaphragmatic voice left me transfixed in his modest brilliance. He’d hit the high octave while rolling along between chords….and these articulate slow moving chord progressions during intros were captivating. He’d capo the guitar down to suit his vocal key and when Mrs. Stapleton chimed in, it was with well timed emphasis and poignant contextually to lyrics.
The omnipotent stage presence of Chris absolutely touched the audience especially when he reached into the vocal stratosphere during a well positioned bar. The drummer and bassist obviously carried the back drop but will have come to understand (on bass for 20 years) that in this production when the lead man plays rhythm, lead and sings, they’ll be a subtext in the Chris Stapleton story.
Mid show I’m thinking to myself that it’s like I came from another planet having never having heard of this guy while witnessing the crowd sing and stir upon sensing the opening to one of their favourites from his old LP “The Traveler”. Definitely part of my thrill for the evening was the discovery amidst naivety.