Southern Family, a collection of songs about growing up in the South from both contemporary country stars and Americana darlings, is one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2016. Set for release on March 18th, the project is the brainchild of producer Dave Cobb, who enlisted singer-songwriters from Zac Brown and Miranda Lambert to Jason Isbell and Brandy Clark. Among the first artists Cobb solicited for the album was Chris Stapleton, who suggested his wife and musical partner Morgane Stapleton take lead on the standard "You Are My Sunshine."
"It felt like the right time and way to do it," Stapleton tells Rolling Stone Country. "We brought [the song] to Dave when he first mentioned the album. He's like, 'No, no, no, why don't you write something else?' And then eventually, he played it with us onstage and said, 'We have to do that song!'"
"We're not doing anything new, anything fresh," adds Morgane. "We're doing what we love and what is authentic to us. No matter what else is going on, that is where our compass always is."
The Stapletons and Cobb welcomed Rolling Stone Country into Nashville's historic RCA Studio A, where stars from Elvis Presley to Kacey Musgraves have recorded (and where Cobb recently became producer-in-residence), to document the process of cutting "You Are My Sunshine." Here's a look behind the scenes at the artists at work. All photos by Becky Fluke.