Chris Stapleton isn’t an easy man to figure. Listening to his lyrics, one wonders how much of them are his life experiences and how much are his imaginings. Whichever it is, he certainly worked hard to get to the top. Still, the amount of heartache in his songs appears to contrast his life–especially his life now. Like most of life, the stirring of fact with fiction creates the magic.
At least one of his hits is inspired by his own life. It is well-known that Stapleton’s wife, Morgane, travels with him and also sings back-up on many of his tracks. But did you know she also played a large and inadvertent role his song, “Traveller”?
According to The Tennessean, just after Stapleton’s first solo album failed to chart in the Top 40, his father died. His father had a significant influence on Chris. He brought outlaw country into their home and gave Stapleton the first guitar, and he learned to play. Morgane knew her husband needed a distraction. Chris agreed; he needed to regroup.
A Hit Song
Morgane’s distraction: a 1979 Jeep located in Phoenix. The Stapletons flew across the country to drive it home. Their photographer and videographer, Becky Fluke, joined.
But things didn’t go as planned. The gas tank leaked the first time they tried to fill it, and then it was a mess of repairs along the way. It took ten days for them to get it home. But it was during that long drive that Stapleton conceived the lyrics of “Traveller.” In the solace and space of a New Mexico sunrise, with Becky and Morgane asleep, he whispered the lyrics into his phone.
Real and Imagined
It is easy to see how Stapleton draws inspiration from his experiences. What is most amazing is his ability to imagine it. As The Tennessean also reported, Stapleton admits that some of his work is simply about creating an emotion, even if it isn’t his. Writing from one’s life is hard enough–channeling the emotions of the world as he does is part of his artistic genius. It’s no small wonder he has the deep respect of the music industry and an absolutely devoted fan following.