ToC Critic’s Pick: Chris Stapleton, ‘Nobody to Blame’ [Listen]
Chris Stapleton’s “Nobody to Blame” is a 200-proof country song that’d fit neatly into any generation’s best of catalog. The second single from Traveller is full of steel guitar, fiddle and pain.
It rambles along like the best from Waylon while providing a de facto education to the 21st century boy. Stapleton doesn’t deviate from what he does best: simple, honest story songs that lean heavy on his once-in-a-lifetime voice.
“She took down the photograph / Of our wedding day / Ripped it down the middle / And threw my half away / And I got nobody to blame but me / I got nobody to blame but me,” he sings to begin “Nobody to Blame” before:
“She broke all my fishing rods / Put my guns in hock / Threw my clothes out in the yard / And changed out all the locks / And I got nobody to blame but me / I got nobody to blame but me.”
Barry Bales ad Ronnie Bowman helped Stapleton write this single, the second from his CMA award winning solo debut album. It’s naturally soulful, but deeply rooted by classic country influences. Call him a nee-traditionalist if you like. Labels hardly seem necessary, however. The chorus goes:
“I know right where I went wrong / I know just what got her gone / Turned my life into this country song / And I got nobody to blame but me / I got nobody to blame but me.”
Stapleton’s hot rod, John Deere and cask of whiskey all fall victim to his ex-wife’s rampage. It’s a sorrowful story that somehow feels so good delivered from this “newcomer.”
Key Lyrics: "I know right where I went wrong / I know just what got her gone / Turned my life into this country song / And I got nobody to blame but me / I got nobody to blame but me."
Did You Know?: A week prior to his CMA Awards performance and wins, Stapleton's Traveller album sold 3,000 copies. The days after the CMAs, it sold 176,000 copies.
Listen to Chris Stapleton, “Nobody to Blame”
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