It’s no secret Chris Stapleton holds Waylon Jennings in high esteem. Chris is quick to cite Waylon as one of his seminal influences, and critics are fond of drawing comparisons between the two artists famous for their powerful voices and gritty lyrics.
“[Waylon is] in a lot of what I do, whether I am trying or not, just like a lot of other guys and heroes,” says Chris to Nash Country Daily. “If you listen to someone enough, you don’t necessarily have to try to emulate them, they will wind up in what you do. Hopefully it will make people feel like there’s a connection there.”
If you’ve seen Chris perform live, there’s a good chance you’ve felt the aforementioned “connection” as he covered one of Waylon’s songs, perhaps “Ain’t Living Long Like This,” “Amanda” or “Outlaw Bit.”
“There’s a lot of, a lot of honesty in Waylon Jennings’ music . . . he had his own sound, and I think that’s something that everybody that plays music is always looking to try to get to—whatever that may be—and sometimes you wind up having your own sound and you don’t know that you’re doing that, but I think they were just playing music and having fun and you can hear that. What you got on a recording was pretty much what you were gonna hear when you went to watch ’em play and that informs things that I do, you know? You try to keep it as straight ahead as you can and don’t go doing too many things that you can’t show up and play live for the people.”
photo by Jason Simanek