By the time Chris Stapleton and his band (the drummer and bassist that played on his hit 2015 album Traveller plus wife Morgane) hit the stage at the Wharf Amphitheater last month, nearly every seat in the place was filled. Stapleton—an “overnight sensation” who’s actually paid his dues over the last 15 years as a songwriter and member of the Steeldrivers and the Jompson Brothers—remarked that the last time he played in Orange Beach, it was to about two people.
He seemed thrilled to be performing for thousands and often involved the audience in chorus singalongs. Most of the crowd knew every song on Traveller, and it’s been in heavy rotation at our house, too, as Stapleton is one of the few current country artists my girlfriend and I can agree on. Highlights included most of the songs from Traveller—”Parachute,” which Stapleton recently performed on Saturday Night Live, was noticeably absent—and, by request, “Where Rainbows Never Die” from Stapleton’s tenure with the Steeldrivers.
I was very happy that Morgane got to sing “You Are My Sunshine” from the fine new various artists album Southern Family. Stapleton’s guitar playing was stellar as well—the man can shred it, and had I checked out the Jompson Brothers album prior to the show, I wouldn’t have been quite so pleasantly surprised. The biggest hoots and hollers came for “Tennessee Whiskey”—ironically, a song that Stapleton didn’t write—and Stapleton offered up a very inventive take on the band member introductions.
Aubrie Sellers delivered a solid 45-minute-or-so set consisting of tunes from her great new album New City Blues. The band was tight, though Sellers didn’t really connect with the audience until she sang a lovely cover of the Beach Boys’ “In My Room.” She was kind enough to greet some of us at the merchandise table after her performance. I told her that her appearance on the bill was what sealed the deal for me, but I don’t think she believed it.
The venue itself is a nightmare, and if you think you’re going to grab a quick bite at one of the Wharf eateries prior to the next big show, think again.
– Chris Manson
If you’ve been to a great gig recently, send us the details, a photo and short review. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Author and Filmmaker Junger Takes Center Stage at NWF Reads
- Book Clubs
- Poetry Contest Winners Announced
- Recommended Reading
- Corner Wine Bar Offers Medley of Contrasting Tastes, Textures
- Sandestin Wine Festival – Come for the Wine, Stay for the Fun
- A Million Dollar Lineup for Bands of 30A’s April 14 Event
- Jazz on the Lawn at Destin Library with BMA Winner Cheryl Jones
- Stranger Things…
- The Pauseandplay.com Record Roundup
- Towne: The Records That Changed Our Lives
- VS. – The Battle of Record Store Day 2019
- Woody Still Matters
- Gumbo Fest Benefits Sandestin Kids
- NWF State College Part 1 – Big Wins for Marketing and PR Team
- NWF State College Part 2 – Collegiate High Schoolers Dominate at Math Bowl
THROUGH APRIL 26. “FRESH START” AT EAST END GALLERY, INLET BEACH Gallery hours are 10 AM-4 PM Mon.-Fri. and Saturdays by appointment. Call 850-252-5150 or email email@example.com for more info. THROUGH APRIL 29. THE...
ADARO ART features works from 2015 South Walton Artist of the Year Juan Francisco Adaro, as well as other well-known local and international artists. Open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. Now located...
Nikki Hedrick: 5 Ways You Can Support the Arts
Buy something. When you’re essentially a small business as a creative individual, it’s amazing how far an extra $20 here and there can go. Buy a CD, a piece of art, t-shirt,...
Art Classes & Workshops
ARTS AND DESIGN SOCIETY (ADSO) Classes at the Art Center Gallery, Fort Walton Beach. More info at artsdesignsociety.org. Mondays and Wednesdays. Clay and Pottery Open Studio, 9 AM-noon both days and 6:30-9 PM Mondays....