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Long may Stapleton run

Jeffrey Remz  |  February 17, 2016

The great year of Chris Stapleton continued earlier this week as he took home a couple of trophies at the Grammys.

It all started for Stapleton at the Country Music Association awards in November when he won Best New Artist, Male Vocalist and Album of the Year for "Traveller." The trifecta was a huge surprise, particularly his win for New Artist over Sam Hunt and the Male Vocalist award over Blake Shelton, Eric Church, Dierks Bentley and Luke Bryan.

And Stapleton's excellent run of luck continued Monday as he won Best Country Album and Best Country Solo Performance for "Traveller."

The very long-haired and bearded Stapleton said, "This is something that you never ever ever dream of. I'm super grateful for it." He's low key, not a big personality and at 37, he's got a lot of reason to be appreciative. The Kentucky native enjoyed success as a songwriter as well as lead singer of the driving bluegrass band The SteelDrivers.

When "Traveller" was released last May, it received strong reviews, but no single broke. Stapleton was not the kind of performer who was going to complete with the more commercial acts out there.

And then the CMA started his run in November.

The result as a performance at the Grammys. He turned in a super vocal performance on the tribute to the late B.B. King with "The Thrill is Gone." Stapleton has a voice well-suited to the blues. He's the real deal. So, it made sense to have Stapleton perform with Gary Clark Jr. and Bonnie Raitt on the classic song of King, who died last year.

As usual, Stapleton was not big on flash. Oh yeah, he played some mean guitar to kick off the song and took the first vocal and took lines later on - both vocal and on guitar - but in this age of big personalities and image selling - and country is certainly no slouch in this area - Stapleton continues to be a breath of fresh air. He's not the most dynamic, exciting performer out there (more like George Strait and Alan Jackson in letting the songs do the yapping), but his singing and songs are top shelf.

Long may Stapleton run.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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