Posts Tagged ‘Chris Stapleton’

chris stapleton

The bearded Nashville songwriter gets an assist from a pair of Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers on his first album in three years. Piano man Benmont Tench and guitarist Mike Campbell offer their respective services, with Campbell co-writing two tracks. Fans have already heard some of the songs live: the rollicking “Arkansas,” the smouldering “You Should Probably Leave,” and even the title track have all appeared in Stapleton set lists. As an album title, “Starting Over” can’t help but carry connotations of an artistic rebirth, but three or four albums into his solo stardom, Chris Stapleton is in no position to rip it up and start again.

Stapleton found his footing with 2015’s Traveller and he’s spent the years since digging deeper into his burnished groove, tying the binds between classic country, classic rock, and classic soul even tighter. A new beginning isn’t in the cards for a singer/songwriter who has styled himself as an old-fashioned troubadour, an outlaw with a heart of gold singing sweet love songs as often as he kicks up dust. He’s a traveller on a long road, not quite forging into undiscovered country as much as finding fresh routes through familiar terrain.

But it’s the brand-new “Watch You Burn,” written about the 2017 Las Vegas massacre, that will snap your head back: “Only a coward would pick up a gun and shoot up a crowd trying to have fun,” Stapleton growls. It’s a direct, damning statement from an artist who chooses his words ever so carefully. Working once again with producer Dave Cobb, Stapleton underscores his rootsy continuity not just with his own catalogue, but with his idols. He takes the time to salute the pioneers who came before him by covering two Guy Clark songs here (“Worry B Gone,” “Old Friends”), along with a deep John Fogerty solo cut that pairs quite nicely with the swampy choogle of the original “Devil Always Made Me Think Twice.” The biggest nod to the past arrives through a couple of key members of Heartbreakers joining the fold: Benmont Tench is on eight of the album’s 14 songs, while Mike Campbell co-wrote two of the record’s highlights, the funky vamp “Watch You Burn” and the rampaging “Arkansas.”

Starting Over has a cover that screams, “This is just an album, not a big achievement,” but that cover hides the maximal quality of the album; it’s a big, blown out, towering LP that makes room for songs about departed dogs, the Las Vegas Route 91 shooting, companionship, and the relative radness of the state of Arkansas. It’s Stapleton through and through; uncompromising and hard to define, it’s all buoyed by Stapleton’s mammoth of a voice. The former Heartbreakers are excellent foils for Stapleton and they also emphasize that he’s a bit like Petty in how he revives sounds of the past for the present and in how he turns out reliably sturdy albums. Stapleton could use a bit of Petty’s flair — there’s not a lot of humour here, nor are there any flirtations with modern sounds — but his straight-ahead style nevertheless satisfies on Starting Over.

Release date: November 13th

The Heartbreakers’ Mike Campbell has released the video for “F**k That Guy,” from the debut album with his longtime side band, The Dirty Knobs. We all know “that guy.” Watch the clip, featuring a cameo from actor Jeff Garlin, below.

The Dirty Knobs’ album, Wreckless Abandon, was scheduled to arrive March 20th 2021 via BMG Records; it’ll now arrive on November. 20th. Their tour, originally scheduled to begin in March, has been delayed due to “some health issues” as well as the pandemic. It’s since be rescheduled to 2021.

Of the new song, written with Chris Stapleton, Campbell says, “‘Fuck That Guy’ is a simple song that could really be about anyone you know. The video is a bizarre and darkly humorous take on 2020. It’s been a hard year. It helps to just laugh. We shot the video just last month. Sometimes life ends up imitating art in almost unimaginable ways.”

Doctors discovered Campbell’s undisclosed health issues in March . In a March 6th Facebook post, he wrote, “while fully treatable, [the health issues] need to be addressed before going out on tour. The good news, well really it’s great news, is that I’m going to be just fine.”

Fans that purchased tickets to the original dates but are unable to make the new date, can obtain a refund at their point of purchase.

The celebrated guitarist, songwriter, and founding member of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, has been playing with the Dirty Knobs for well over a decade. The original announcement of the album and tour made no mention of any upcoming plans with Fleetwood Mac, whom Campbell joined for their extensive 2018-2019 tour.

On October 23rd, Campbell and fellow Heartbreaker, Benmont Tench, performed several songs for the Tom Petty 70th Birthday Bash. In additional to Campbell, the Dirty Knobs are Jason Sinay on guitar and vocals, Lance Morrison on bass, and Matt Laug on drums.

The album was produced by Campbell and George Drakoulias (the Black Crowes, the Jayhawks), with all songs written by Campbell. It features further contributions from fellow Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers founding member Benmont Tench as well as Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter and guitarist Chris Stapleton. Klaus Voormann, who is well known for doing the cover art for the Beatles’ Revolver, created the album artwork.

The album’s title track, with Campbell’s familiar guitar sound, was released in January. Of the project, Campbell, who turned 70 on February. 1st, explains, “The Dirty Knobs first got together almost 15 years ago but Wreckless Abandon is our first album and occasion to tour. Over the years, the Knobs became an outlet for me to play some of the other songs I was writing and to keep the creative juices flowing in between working on albums and tours with Tom and the Heartbreakers.”

After Petty’s death in 2017, one week after completing the Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary tour, Campbell knew the only way to heal some of the pain was to throw himself wholeheartedly back into his music.

“Losing Tom was earth-shattering for me. It was a total shock,” Campbell continues. “It had felt like we would be playing together forever. For a while it was hard to imagine playing in my own band again, let alone one where I’m the frontman. Tom was always my beacon. But everything I’ve been doing since Tom passed, including this album with the Dirty Knobs, is in the spirit of honouring what we did together.”