Chris Stapleton Readies New Album, ‘Higher,’ Unveils Lead Single, ‘White Horse’

Stapleton’s highly anticipated new album will be released on November 10.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

July 21, 2023

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Chris Stapleton; Photo by Becky Fluke

Chris Stapleton has announced that his highly anticipated new album, Higher, will be released on November 10 via Mercury Nashville.

The 14-track project was recorded at Nashville’s RCA Studio A and is expected to highlight Stapleton’s unparalleled vocals and versatile musical stylings through songs that transcend genre boundaries.

Alongside Stapleton who delivers on vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar and slide electric guitar, the album features Dave Cobb on acoustic guitar and eclectic guitar, J.T. Cure on bass, Paul Franklin on pedal steel, Derek Mixon on drums, his wife, Morgane on background vocals, synthesizer and tambourine, and Lee Pardini on organ and piano. 

Chris Stapleton - Higher
Chris Stapleton – Higher

Higher Track List

1. What Am I Gonna Do

2. South Dakota

3. Trust

4. It Takes A Woman

5. The Fire

6. Think I’m In Love With You

7. Loving You On My Mind

8. White Horse 

9. Higher

10. The Bottom

11. The Day I Die

12. Crosswind

13. Weight Of Your World

14. Mountains Of My Mind

In advance of the album release, the “Tennessee Whiskey” singer also revealed that he’s sending a brand-new tune to country radio. Written by Dan Wilson and Stapleton, who had a hand in producing alongside Dave Cobb and Morgane Stapleton, “White Horse” marks the first single from the forthcoming project. 

Following a blazing intro filled with electric guitar riffs and building drumbeats, the fresh release takes Stapleton’s gritty vocals to new heights. Lyrically, the song finds the 8x Grammy, 15x CMA and 15x ACM Award-winner being upfront about the fact that he’s not the kind of cowboy to jump on a white horse and ride off into the sunset for love. Instead, his heart looks for a way out of the kind of commitment that he says, “feels like a loaded gun.” 

Using his signature traditional country sound with a hint of bluesy rhythms, Stapleton declares that the truth is, he’s just not ready to be the man that the love interest at hand desires. 

“If you want a cowboy on a white horse / Riding off into the sunset / If that’s the kinda love you wanna wait for / Hold on tight, girl, / I ain’t there yet / No, I ain’t there yet / No, I ain’t there yet / White horse,” he sings on the chorus. 

YouTube video

The new album will follow 2020’s acclaimed Starting Over, which went on to win three awards at the 67th Annual GRAMMYs including Best Country Album, Best Country Solo Performance for “You Should Probably Leave” and Best Country Song for “Cold.” Additionally, the project was honored with Album of the Year at both the CMA and ACM Awards. 

Prior to Starting Over, Stapleton released a pair of Platinum-certified releases in 2017 — From A Room: Volume 1 and From A Room: Volume 2 — as well as his 5x Platinum breakthrough solo debut album in 2015, Traveller.

Chris Stapleton, Starting Over
Chris Stapleton, Starting Over

All-American Road Show

Chris Stapleton is currently in the midst of his extensive “All-American Road Show” tour. The trek kicked off on April 26 at UTEP Don Haskins Center in El Paso, Texas, and is set to include stops in Oregon, South Carolina, Montana, Tennessee, and more. In March, he announced newly-added dates to the tour, revealing it now extends through October 26.

Allen Stone, Charley Crockett, Marcus King, Margo Price, Marty Stuart, Nikki Lane, The War and Treaty and more have been tapped to serve as support on select dates. 

Fans can also catch Stapleton on tour with George Strait as he joins select dates of the summer stadium run including two shows at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium on Friday, July 28, and Saturday, July 29.

Triple Crown Award Honoree

In the midst of his busy touring schedule, the “Starting Over” singer has been named as an honoree for the Triple Crown Award at the upcoming 16th annual ACM Honors.

Taking place Wednesday, August 23, the Special Awards will recognize Stapleton along with Clint Black, BRELAND, Kane Brown, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Charlie Cook, Charlie Daniels, Mike Dungan, Ashley Gorley, HARDY, Bill Mayne, Tim McGraw, K.T. Oslin, Chris Stapleton, and Troy Vollhoffer.

Chris Stapleton at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by Rich Polk for PMC
Chris Stapleton at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by Rich Polk for PMC

“This year’s ACM Special Award honorees have made a tremendous impact on the music we know and love, from icons and veteran executives who have shaped and steered the industry for years, to newer artists making a splash and welcoming fresh audiences into the community, and I am so excited about celebrating them in August at what is always one of the best nights of the year,” said Kerri Edwards, Chair of the ACM Special Awards Committee. “I’d like to thank our committee members for their invaluable participation and contributions in selecting this year’s exceptionally worthy class of honorees and offer my congratulations to all of the recipients.”

Chris Stapleton qualified for the prestigious Triple Crown Award, after winning ACM New Male Vocalist of the Year, ACM Male Vocalist of the Year, and ACM Entertainer of the Year throughout his career. This honor follows his first win for ACM Entertainer of the Year at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards.

To date, only eight other artists have been awarded the Triple Crown Award. Previous recipients include Jason Aldean, Brooks & Dunn, Kenny Chesney, Mickey Gilley, Merle Haggard, Miranda Lambert, Barbara Mandrell, and Carrie Underwood.

“Country Music Industry’s favorite night” will take place at the historic Ryman Auditorium and will feature four-time ACM Award winner Carly Pearce as host for the third consecutive year. 

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.