It’s moody, broody, bluesy, and a far cry from the delicate lullaby you heard as a child. Morgane’s pure, stunning vocals soar, and Chris’ gritty harmonies transform the chorus into a series of impeccably-aimed sucker punches. It’s bright and electric and completely haunting, all at once. It simply makes you feel something.
Picture this: Chris and Morgane Stapleton have just moved. The room is empty and void of furniture, but they pick up guitars and begin to play “You Are My Sunshine.” … Or so the story goes, as recounted by producer Dave Cobb and longtime Stapleton bass player, J.T. Cure, at the Southern Family listening session in historic RCA Studio B on January 19. Years later, the classic tune practically holds a permanent spot on the duo’s live show setlists – Chris has even claimed it as his favorite part of each show – and it remains central to their relationship on and off the stage. Fun fact: Morgane had the inside of Chris’ wedding band engraved with the words “you are my sunshine.”
Naturally, when Cobb tapped Morgane for his Southern Family compilation album (a collection of songs about – you guessed it – family), this song came to mind. “Morgane is next to [Chris] on stage every night,” said Cobb, “and I thought it would be cool if Morgane had a song on this record.” Cobb was initially skeptical of the song choice, afraid its ubiquitousness would undermine its power. It’s a song we’ve heard since birth, he offers, in the “Making of the Song” video below. But the Stapletons’ version takes the song’s familiarity and turns it upside down – it sounds absolutely nothing like anything you’ve heard before. The team recorded it in RCA Studio A, which is soon to become Cobb’s permanent production space, and the powerful result demands several (uninterrupted) listens.
Southern Family also features tracks by Miranda Lambert (“Sweet By and By”), Anderson East (“Learning”), and John Paul White (“Simple Song”), along with Cobb’s cousin and artist-to-watch, Brent Cobb. The album is available for pre-order on iTunes and will be released on March 18.