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Chris Stapleton Returns — Already — With 'Millionaire'

Chris Stapleton's new album, <em>From A Room: Volume 2</em>, comes out Dec. 1.
Andy Barron
Courtesy of the artist
Chris Stapleton's new album, From A Room: Volume 2, comes out Dec. 1.

Back in May, Chris Stapleton released the year's best-selling country album to date in From A Room: Volume 1, the warmly received sequel to his award-bedecked 2015 debut, Traveller. Traveller had already made Stapleton a star, and Volume 1 quickly set the stage for another huge year. Produced with Dave Cobb, the record refined and showcased Stapleton's gift for making country music indistinguishable from folk, rock and, especially, soul.

It also, given its title, promised a sequel — and now a second Cobb-produced nine-song set, From A Room: Volume 2, will arrive Dec. 1. As you might expect, it's a natural companion to and extension of its predecessor, with seven original compositions book-ended by a cover of "Friendship" (popularized by Pops Staples) and the album's immensely ingratiating first single, on which the singer and collaborator/wife Morgane Stapleton cook up a slow-and-easy country-soul take on Kevin Welch's 2001 song "Millionaire."

From A Room: Volume 2tracklist:

1. "Millionaire"
2. "Hard Livin'"
3. "Scarecrow In The Garden"
4. "Nobody's Lonely Tonight"
5. "Tryin' To Untangle My Mind"
6. "A Simple Song"
7. "Midnight Train To Memphis"
8. "Drunkard's Prayer"
9. "Friendship"

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Stephen Thompson is a writer, editor and reviewer for NPR Music, where he speaks into any microphone that will have him and appears as a frequent panelist on All Songs Considered. Since 2010, Thompson has been a fixture on the NPR roundtable podcast Pop Culture Happy Hour, which he created and developed with NPR correspondent Linda Holmes. In 2008, he and Bob Boilen created the NPR Music video series Tiny Desk Concerts, in which musicians perform at Boilen's desk. (To be more specific, Thompson had the idea, which took seconds, while Boilen created the series, which took years. Thompson will insist upon equal billing until the day he dies.)