Most recently, Stapleton won six awards at the 51st Annual ACM Awards—Album of the Year (for Traveller as both artist and producer), Song of the Year (for “Nobody To Blame” as both artist and songwriter), Male Vocalist of the Year and New Male Vocalist of the Year. With the six wins, Stapleton ties the record for most ACM Awards won in a single year (only Garth Brooks and Faith Hill have previously won six in the same year).
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He moved to Nashville in the fall of 2001 with a catalog of twenty songs, a suitcase, and his guitar. After hearing simple guitar and vocal recordings of the songs Stapleton had written by himself, Liz O'Sullivan was determined to sign him as a songwriter at the newly formed Seagayle Music. Frank Rogers and Chris DuBois were equally enchanted, and within two months, Stapleton had what many songwriters wait years for: his first cut. Fast forward ten years later, and he has too many successful collaborations to even count. Among those are cuts with Patty Loveless, Tim McGraw, Lee Ann Womack, James Otto, Brooks & Dunn, Alison Krauss, LeAnn Rimes, Trent Willmon, Trace Adkins, Steel Magnolia, and Trisha Yearwood; and co-writes with Peter Frampton, Vince Gill, Bobby Bare, and Marty Stuart. "It's therapeutic and an exercise in purpose, but for me, it's more of a compulsion than anything," he says of songwriting. He writes for any number of reasons - the commercial market, his own enjoyment, because he or a co-writer has an idea, but the joy of it - and his greatest work - is born of not ever knowing what the purpose is. Left to his own devices, he is aware that he can be "way out there," but his diverse catalog is proof that he understands consistency, creativity, and the importance of marrying the two to be a successful songwriter. "I don't sit around dreaming up singles for artists - that's just not gonna happen" - these claims that he doesn't take the time to worry about what direction writing will take create co-writes conducive to creativity, resulting in chart topping singles with Kenny Chesney, Josh Turner, and Darius Rucker.
In 2006, Stapleton joined forces with Mike Henderson and seasoned veterans Richard Bailey, Mike Fleming, and Tammy Rogers to form The SteelDrivers, a bluegrass band with rock, country, and soul influences. Writing with Henderson since his move to Nashville years earlier created a collection of remarkable songs, most of which were unlikely to be recorded by commercial country. Henderson expressed his desire to play a regular gig, and before they knew it, they were playing all original songs and catching the eye of record label executives. Their first record garnered the band a Grammy nomination, and their sophomore effort, praised by critics, earned them two more Grammy nods. Stapleton parted ways with the band in 2010.
In 2005, what began as four guys jamming in a garage quickly became a more serious musical venture. Although Stapleton is known for both commercial country songwriting and bluegrass, he knew that working with JT Cure, Bard McNamee, and Greg McKee would be something extraordinary. Initially, their personalities meshed well, but their chemistry together as songwriters and musicians made it easy to collaborate. Stapleton describes their process as a "discovery - it's the prospect of what you might make up next." It's hard to pinpoint where The Jompson Brothers fit genre-wise in today's market, but they are rock and roll in it's most basic form - straight ahead rock and roll. The Jompson Brothers self-titled debut is available on iTunes. <http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-jompson-brothers/id407587531>
Chris Stapleton continues to write for Seagayle Music. He resides in Nashville with his wife and two children... .. .. .. ...... Layout by ..CoolChaser.. Background from ..flickr user.. .. .. ...... ..
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Maren Morris: At first glance it's easy to dismiss a singer-songwriter who seems to have just appeared on the music scene; especially a young female. In the case of Maren Morris that would be a mistake on several counts. Mention "teen singer" and eyes roll and stereotypes spring to mind, but one phrase sung with this vocalist and all that evaporates.
Maren has been performing live for many years and recorded her first CD titled "Walk On", at age 14. She also writes and performs her own music in her band. The Arlington, Texas high school student released her second record of all-original tunes in October 2007 titled "All That It Takes".
Her style transcends Rock, Country, Blues and Pop styles, with soulful vocals that invite yet defy comparison to current and past musical performers. Maverick Magazine (UK) said Maren "...conjures Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt and Natalie Maines" while the Fort Worth Weekly called her "...a tiny hurricane of blue-eyed soul." Whatever you call her Maren's innate vocal phrasing, intuitive writing and solid guitar performances stun audiences at live shows and shine through in her recordings.
Maren attended the first ever Grammy Camp, presented by the Recording Academy, as the only Texas artist invited - helped by an introduction through the Texas Music Project - among 43 students from across the nation. The Camp teamed her with other songwriters, musicians and music industry greats such as producers David Foster and Paul Williams. She is also a voting member of the Academy.
The singer/songwriter has had the pleasure of sharing the stage with such talent as Jack Ingram, Miranda Lambert, Cheyenne Kimball, Bob Schneider, Monte Montgomery and the Randy Rogers Band. She was named 2007 Songwriter of the Year and the 2006 and 2007 Female Vocalist of the Year by the Fort Worth Weekly and Rising Star of the Year at the 2005 Terry Awards. A tour of England in the summer of 2006 marked Maren's first foray outside the United States, consisting of five live shows and three BBC appearances with a trip to France coming in the summer of 2008.
Maren Morris has been paying her dues for years and is finally earning the respect of her peers and others across the music industry. Those who might once have viewed her as a novelty must now reckon with the fact that she has grown in all areas of music. Her writing, vocal ability and guitar playing have all come of age.