This is something I’ve known for a while now, but I’ve been waiting for the band to make an official announcement. Chris Stapleton (middle above) is leaving The Steeldrivers to focus on his songwriting and his family. The official announcement was made last week (I just saw it today).
Chris’ departure does not mean the band is calling it quits. The Steeldrivers will continue to tour and play with new singer/guitarist Gary Nichols.
I am sad that Chris is leaving the band, but excited for his future prospects. I think The Steeldrivers just got much bigger, much faster than anyone anticipated, and all the time on the road burning from town to town just started to take a toll. I know Chris will be happy spending more time at home with his family and his songs. Hopefully, though, the itch to take those songs on the road will strike again in the future. I’ve also heard a few of the songs that are supposed to be on the next record. I doubt it will disappoint.
I could go on here about Chris, and what he meant to the band’s sound and how hard it will be to replace him… but Steeldrivers co-founder Mike Henderson has already done that better than I ever could. Read his comments at the bottom of this article
I just want to say that I’m proud of my friend for what he accomplished with this band, and I wish him the best.
Here’s a live track from the band’s early days. The Buy Album link points to their studio release.