"Only in a country music song can you get laid and saved in three minutes. It was a lot about my history. It was bluegrass. It was Southern rock. It was a lot of things," Kenny Chesney told CMT during a party celebrating the Billboard chart-topping success of his single "Never Wanted Nothing More" in 2007.
Nashville-based songwriter Chris Stapleton is a lot of things, too, including co-author of the aforementioned smash hit (along with others he has penned for George Strait and Brad Paisley) and three-time Grammy nominee (for his vocal and guitar work with bluegrass powerhouse The Steel Drivers). Thankfully for us, he's also a muscle-rock revivalist who currently fronts a fierce four-piece called The Jompson Brothers—a group that features former Athenian Greg McKee on guitar, along with J.T. Cure on bass and Bard McNamee on drums.
While names like Chesney and Paisley lack a certain dirty Southern (hipster redneck?) credibility, Jompson is one of those hard-nosed fictional surnames that might be found in a Larry Brown novel; indeed, the Brothers' music could soundtrack his gritty tales of humid backwoods.
Stapleton has been a salaried songwriter in Nashville for over a decade. Yet, he explains, "I'm not particularly emotionally invested in every song I write... probably, most songs I write. Which is maybe not what people like to hear. I go in and do my job, and it's not that I don't love my job, it's the best job in the world... [but] I like to play rock and roll, too. It's that carnal, caveman need. The great thing about playing rock and roll [is] there's no rule to it... It's a completely selfish indulgence... a musical self-indulgence that has no rules. That's how music winds up evolving. We're always kinda hunting for something, not knowing what it is."
Find your trucker hat, and bring a lighter to the 40 Watt. This is music worthy of a sea of saluting Bics.