The Steeldrivers have made quite a noise in the bluegrass world this past two years with a unique sound drawing heavily on the blues – and Chris Stapleton’s distinctive songs and dark, musty vocal style. Their self-titled debut Rounder CD in 2008 garnered multiple award nominations and led to a busy tour schedule across the US.
Now comes news that Chris is leaving the band to dedicate himself fully to songwriting, which had been his primary occupation prior to joining the band. He has had cuts on many pop country releases, including a pair of #1s co-written with Ronnie Bowman (Never Wanted Nothing More from Kenny Chesney and It’s Getting Better All The Time from Brooks & Dunn).
The remaining members will carry on with The Steeldrivers (Tammy Rogers on fiddle, Mike Henderson on mandolin, Richard Bailey on banjo and Mike Fleming on bass). A new singer and guitarist has been chosen, but is not expected to be announced right away.
We expect to get more details soon about both Chris and the band’s future plans, but with the Easter weekend upon us, I’m not sure just when. We’ll update as details are clarified.