Stapleton, Dave Cobb, Vance Powell and others expose the within story ~ above the Album the The Year nominee


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Chris Stapleton to be a hero in country music one long prior to Traveller topped critics’ ideal of 2015 lists and also garnered the coveted GRAMMY nomination because that Album that The Year. As a songwriter, the Kentucky native conveniently forged a successful career, writing hits for such artists as Luke Bryan, Kenny Chesney and Darius Rucker, and everyone native Adele come George Strait has recorded his songs.

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Stapleton occurred a cult complying with of his own through stints with GRAMMY-nominated bluegrass band the SteelDrivers and also Southern rock band the Jompson Brothers. But it to be Traveller that catapulted Stapleton native Nashville’s best kept an enig to superstar.

The intimate, regularly mournful collection has been dubbed a throwback, mirroring a musical sincerity seldom seen in modern-day Nashville. The album was recorded practically entirely live in ~ Nashville’s RCA Studio A, simply as news that the historic space had been sold to developer — who planned come demolish the building — to be rocking the music community.

“The an are that you document in, the history of it, have the right to really pat a huge role in the music that you get out of a session,” states Stapleton. “Places have actually stuff in the walls, is the best method I can explain it. You gotta try to live up to that, even if friend can’t.”

Following, Stapleton and also other vital players behind his acclaimed album tell the within story the Traveller.


Dave Cobb (producer/guitar/percussion): chris had referred to as us about another artist’s album the I had actually produced. Ns was blown away since I had actually actually seen him around eight years back with the SteelDrivers. Ns had always wanted to job-related with him.


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Dave Cobb | Photo: stack Diamond/Getty Images

Chris Stapleton (artist/producer): ns mainly pursued him down! ns was like, “Who’s this guy, who Dave Cobb? I’ve gained to find out that this male is the makes records that sound favor I want them to sound.”

Vance Powell (engineer/mixer): <Traveller> was in August, September and October the 2014 in ~ Ben Folds’ place, RCA Studio A. Us would have actually been the last document recorded over there if they hadn’t conserved the place.


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Vance Powell | Photo: Jeff Vespa/WireImage

Cobb: that was chris Stapleton’s call, really. It to be like, “If that gonna go, we’re gonna go down v it.” such a sacred old historic room, he felt prefer we required to be there at the time.

Stapleton: We had actually a budget plan to cut six songs so we booked time for that.

Cobb: We obtained in there and it was just coming the end so easy. We have a many the same impacts so it didn’t seem choose work, it felt prefer we were just hanging out. The label came by and also they loved it, and also gave us encouragement to store going. The 6 songs us were supposed to execute turned into a full album.

Robby Turner (pedal steel guitar): that was really relaxed, really creative. Over there was never ever pressure on anybody. It to be so unequal the studio. As soon as you perform a work rate, through the hour, people constantly watch the clock. This to be a an extremely relaxed atmosphere, an extremely creative. That was simply a perfect vibe because that recording.


Robby Turner | Photo: Courtesy that Robby Turner

Cobb: RCA was in reality booked among the work we’d scheduled for recording so us went out to the lock it looks choose a castle, it’s out in the countryside. I started walking around the external of it and the structure sounds incredible. I started clapping mine hands and it had actually such an significant sound on the former porch that us actually set up outside and also recorded. The was yes, really magical.

Powell: we did “Might as well Get Stoned” on the prior porch . Us actually videotaped everything yet the drummer outside. The porch wasn’t large enough because that the whole band for this reason Derek Mixon was inside, however we sharp his kick drum out the door. You deserve to hear dare going by and crickets top top the track. The was appropriate at sunset. That felt like heaven the end there act that.


Cobb: “Was it 26” wasn’t an alleged to it is in on the album, it just happened. We were simply checking mics and Chris began playing it.

Stapleton: there wasn’t a big discussion about it. Ns said, “Could us run through it one time?” and like, “No!” So that’s what girlfriend hear ~ above the record. It’s the an initial time us ever even tried to play it. That’s really much the soul of the record.

Jim Beavers (songwriter): We composed “Parachute” in the summer of 2014. When we wrote this song, ns didn’t understand Chris was around to go do a record. We created it in one day, sang it right into an iPhone, and I remember listening to it and also thinking the was yes, really cool. 4 or 5 months later, chris called and also said he was going to cut it.


Jim Beavers | Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Powell: “Parachute” is just one of the songs that kris sang . The band’s power on the song was for this reason good, but it was late at night and he didn’t feel prefer his vocal matched the strongness of the band’s performance. So, we just did it again. It is a rarity.

Turner: I think “Traveller” was the very first thing ns played top top . I realized as soon as I was playing on it that this to be a one-of-a-kind project. At the end of that day ns told Dave, “Man, this document is really something special.”

Becky Fluke (photographer): The album covering was in reality shot a year before the album was also made. Chris and also Morgane to buy a Jeep online, so us went top top a road pilgrimage to drive it indigenous Phoenix earlier to Nashville. The photograph was shot what in Arizona or new Mexico.


Becky Fluke | Photo: Courtesy that Becky Fluke

Stapleton: we were taking a trip and also my wife made decision it would be great to have Becky record it. Us didn’t know that we’d finish up act an album sheathe or anything like that.

Stapleton earned because that 58th GRAMMY nominations, including best Country Album because that Traveller and Best nation Solo performance for the title track.

Cobb earned 2 nominations as co-producer of the album, including Producer that The Year, Non-Classical.

Cobb: Morgane and also Chris dubbed me around the GRAMMY nomination. My grandmother, that was sort of like a 2nd mother, had passed the work before. It to be a awful day. The following day I acquire a phone call at 8 in the morning around the GRAMMY . It to be a lot of emotions at one time.

Stapleton: I was at mine house and also we were attempting to watch the GRAMMY announcements. Somehow we gained our time zone info wrong. So mine sister-in-law to walk in the house and also said, “Congratulations!” we said, “For what?” we looked them increase online. That was ours finding out.


The 58th GRAMMY Awards nominees for among the most coveted GRAMMYs consist of an eclectic quintet the artists. This year’s Album of The Year nominees expectancy roots rock quartet Alabama Shakes’ colorful Sound & Color, rapper Kendrick Lamar’s stylish To Pimp A Butterfly, nation singer/songwriter kris Stapleton’s organic Traveller, Taylor Swift’s pop juggernaut 1989, and also The Weeknd’s seductive R&B collection Beauty Behind The Madness.

The record Academy asked few of the artist and an essential collaborators behind these tasks to call the within story of each nominated album. Visit GRAMMY.com to check out the oral histories of all five 2015 Album the The Year nominees.

Lisa Zhito is a writer and teacher based in Nashville, Tenn. Her most recent occupational for GRAMMY.com was an interview with Colbie Caillat because that the GRAMMY room of Fame catalyst series.

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Tune in come the 58th yearly GRAMMY Awards live indigenous Staples center in Los Angeles on Monday, Feb. 15 in ~ 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT top top CBS.