I was watching Austin City Limits last week, and Chris Stapleton was on it. I’d seen him for the first time a year or two ago on Saturday Night Live, when he performed with another critic’s darling whose music I didn’t know, Sturgill Simpson. I loved their essentially Southern Rock revival they constructed that night, and I wanted to see if this Stapleton guy would still work for me on ACL. He did! He and his band were great. I don’t think country-ish songs about drinking and being down to one’s last time will ever be my kind of music, but I love how open this guy is with his voice, his guitar playing, his band’s arrangements.
One song that stood out for me was a standard, a song in that vein that even I knew for some reason. Maybe I know it through one of the band’s my close personal friend chickenfrank plays in. Maybe I know it from being at a party with people who are into Bonnie Raitt. I don’t know, but “Tennessee Whiskey” is a song I normally wouldn’t have any interest in that works for me. Stapleton’s version impressed me so much that I got out my guitar, played along with it, and then spent the wee hours of last Saturday night writing my own song that was inspired by some of the moves he used. Check this out.
That brings me back to David Allen Coe‘s hairdo, in the first clip I posted. I wanted to see who wrote that song, and I was taken to this video. Coe didn’t write it, that would be two songwriters I’d never heard of, Dean Dillon and Linda Hargrove. They’re probably in the Country Music Songwriters Hall of Fame. What do I know? Good stuff, though!
But Coe’s hair…what was he going for, a Chaka on Land of the Lost Look? It’s amazing. Amazingly bad! Yet oddly beautiful.
Here’s one of those Stapleton-Simpson performances from SNL that first interested me on a primal level.