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Soulful Chris Stapleton shocks and silences a crowd with yet another breathtaking performance Associated Press
Artist Chris Stapleton performs at the Jack Daniel's New Year's Eve Bash on Broadway on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Laura Roberts/Invision/AP)

Chris Stapleton hates to follow a set list.

And that makes us love him even more.

“I like to use this room to do things that I think would sound good in this room, so I’m gonna play something that’s not on my record,” Chris Stapleton told a packed Ryman audience of radio executives, label reps and media all in the Music City for the annual Country Radio Seminar on Jan. 9. “It’s about time for me to start thinking about making another one pretty soon and my wife always liked this song, so I’m going to try it out on y’all if that’s ok.”

With that, the Grammy nominee launched into “Either Way,” a ballad that details the rough realities of relationships. The crowd was mesmerized and remained silently captivated until the voice that’s saving country music landed and the last note had rung out.

While this was the first time nearly everyone in the room had heard the song, it isn’t truly new. Stapleton co-wrote “Either Way” with Timothy Alan James and Kendell Wayne Marvel nearly eight years ago and Lee Ann Womack included it on her 2008 album “Call Me Crazy.”

Stapleton is set to play on the Grammy Awards Feb. 15 and will be back on the Ryman stage Feb. 18 through Feb. 20 for three sold-out shows.

Based in Chicago but often in Nashville, Ken Churilla is a contributor for Rare Country. Follow him @KenChurilla and join the conversation @RareCountry.
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