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Chris Stapleton Says His Father Influenced ‘Traveller’ Album

Chris Stapleton how dad influenced music
Theo Wargo, Getty Images

Chris Stapleton has been well-known and -loved by country music insiders for years, thanks in part to his songwriting skills and time as a member of the SteelDrivers, but the rising star says that his father, at least partially, deserves the credit for his work as a solo artist.

“My earliest memories of music were kind of the outlaw country folk — Waylon [Jennings] and Willie [Nelson] and guys like that — but also Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin and a lot of old R&B people,” Stapleton told The Boot and other reporters at a recent media event. “My dad could hold a tune. He wasn’t necessarily a singer, but he did love music, and he listened to it quite loud in the car. So those were my earliest memories of music, and when he passed away [in 2013], it flipped the switch for me.”

Stapleton used some of the legendary players who helped shape his musical heritage while recording his debut solo album, Traveller.

“Robby Turner, who played with Waylon Jennings for 15 years, played on this record. Mickey Raphael, who was Willie Nelson’s harmonica player, played on this record,” Stapleton explains. “We made this record with guys that I played music with live every night. The rhythm section, and Dave Cobb, who produced the record, [are] playing acoustic.”

The singer-songwriter notes that having his own musical icons help out on Traveller not only influenced how he made the record, but also paid homage to his upbringing.

“I was inspired by those guys,” Stapleton says. “But [I] also thought about my earliest records of music and the way those records sound. I wanted to do something that gave a tip of the hat to that.”

Traveller is available for purchase on Amazon and iTunes.

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