Chris Stapleton has built a career doing many things well, including songwriting for some of country and pop’s biggest names, but the artist admits he was still unsure how recording Traveller, his own country record, would be received.

Of course, he had nothing to worry about, as the album has been met with glowing reviews.

"I was pleasantly surprised,” Stapleton tells the Boot. "You always hope for the best when you put something out and try to make the best music you can make, but you can’t control what happens after that. It was a great, wonderful surprise."

The singer, who penned “Drink a Beer” for Luke Bryan and “Come Back Song” for Darius Rucker, has had dozens of songs cut by top-shelf artists like George Strait, Tim McGraw, and even pop artist Adele. But Stapleton wasn’t looking for his own record deal ... until someone changed his mind.

“Brian Wright came to me, in A&R at Universal,” Stapleton recalls, “We had lunch. We’ve been friends for a long time, and I thought we were just having lunch. He said, ‘Hey man, I want you to do a country record.’

“They asked me, and I said yes. That was pretty much the short story,” he furthers. “Actually, I said, ‘Let me go ask my wife.’”

Thankfully, she was on board. Even though being a solo act is a new endeavor for Stapleton, he’s no stranger to the stage.

“I’ve always been in touring bands in some capacity,” he explains. “I was in a bluegrass band. I made two records with a band called the SteelDrivers. They were nominated for two Grammys. I then I was in a rock band called the Junction Brothers; we made kind of ‘70s hard rock music. And so, yeah, I’ve always done things like that, and it’s always been part of what I do."

Stapleton launched his own tour this spring and is currently on the road around the U.S. Check out his tour dates on his website.

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