Chris Stapleton Pays Homage to Influences Tim O’Brien, Darrell Scott With ‘There Ain’t No Easy Way’ [WATCH]
When Chris Stapleton appeared onstage during the Universal Music Group's annual lunchtime showcase at the 2018 Country Radio Seminar on Tuesday (Feb. 6), he opted to perform a deep cut from bluegrass legends Tim O'Brien and Darrell Scott: "There Ain't No Easy Way," which the duo originally released in 2000.
For Stapleton, the song recalls early memories of his career as a musician: "When I first moved to town, I used to listen to a lot of -- well, I still do listen to them -- Darrell Scott and Tim O'Brien," he stated onstage in advance of his performance. "I like to do things here [at CRS] that you're never gonna get anywhere else," he continued.
Stapleton has long supported the country tradition of recording old songs by other artists: "I don't feel like songs should be hoarded. I don't feel like one's tainted if somebody else does it," he said in an interview back in 2016. "That's the mark of artistry -- take a song that's maybe even a really popular song and do it your own way. I think that's cool."
In keeping with that tradition, the singer delivered his own take on "There Ain't No Easy Way" while also paying homage to O'Brien and Scott. It's clear from the strong storytelling and troubled lyrical themes -- "Please do me a favor, won't you write on my grave / Say there ain't no easy way," he sings in the last verse -- that Stapleton's own songwriting style takes influence from the song's original performers.
Stapleton recently received three awards at the 2018 Grammy Awards Ceremony on Jan. 28 in the categories of Best Country Album, Best Country Song and Best Country Solo Performance. These brought his total number of awards at the ceremony up to five. This year, he also collaborated with Justin Timberlake on three songs off Timberlake's most recent album, Man of the Woods.
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