The Steeldrivers: Midnight Train To Memphis
I was blown away by The Steeldrivers at last winter's Joe Val Bluegrass festival. The combination of solid Grammy-winning bluegrass session players and Chris Stapleton's incredibly torn R & B vocals and songwriting bring a whole new life to the genre, and even with a major flu running through the band, their energy onstage was unrivaled by anything I've seen then or since, period.
I'm not the only one to have noticed, either. In fact, in the intervening year, I've seen them at several New England bluegrass festivals, and at each venue, they were the only band playing to get a standing ovation in the middle of their set.
Fellow SMM contributor Nelson has featured their work several times, most recently noting that Chris has started a rock 'n roll side project which promises to be every bit as good as this. Here's hoping both bands get their rightful recognition in the year to come. In the meantime, here's the gospel.