Every Traveller needs a companion in the shotgun seat.
Since leaving the SteelDriver’s lineup in April 2010, Chris Stapleton — who spent the last half-decade building a slow-and-steady solo career, only to skyrocket to fame on the heels of a stunning CMA Awards performance with Justin Timberlake — has played nearly every show with his wife, Morgane. They’re one of the best unsung duos in country music, armed with the kind of close-harmony singing that only seems to exist between family members.
The pair’s version of “You Are My Sunshine” effectively turns the tables, recasting Morgane as the bandleader and Chris as the backup singer. In the video above, the two perform the folk song at Eddie’s Attic — Atlanta’s long-running home for songwriters — in May 2013, back when Stapleton was still best known as a songwriter for artists like George Strait and Darius Rucker. Reimagining “You Are My Sunshine” as a slow, swampy soul ballad, they silence a crowd that’s fairly rowdy during the song’s intro, with Morgane’s voice flying miles above her husband’s drop-D-tuned guitar.
The American standard has become a staple of the pair’s live show since then, usually performed with the added muscle of Stapleton’s road band. Stripped down to its foundation, though, “You Are My Sunshine” still stands tall, proof that Stapleton’s rise to the top of the Billboard charts is a family affair.