Chris Stapleton From a Room: Volume 2
Released just a few months after Volume 1, singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton’s From a Room: Volume 2 continues right where its predecessor left off, with sparse, evocative Americana, encompassing country, blues and Southern rock and soul. Stapleton has taken advantage of his newfound fame to dust off songs he’s had in his repertoire for quite a while, and Volume 2’s nine tracks include a couple of covers along with a reworked song from Stapleton’s old bluegrass band The SteelDrivers.
That gives the album a bit of an odds-and-sods feel, and there’s nothing as catchy and memorable here as Volume 1’s singles “Broken Halos” and “Either Way.” But songs like bluesy rocker “Hard Livin’,” twangy country-folk ballad “A Simple Song” and soulful Pops Staples cover “Friendship” still capture Stapleton’s mix of musical prowess and personal reflection, sung in his gritty but powerful voice (with lovely harmonies from his wife Morgane). “This hard livin’ ain’t as easy as it used to be,” he sings on “Hard Livin’,” but after three solo albums, he can still make it sound effortless.