When The Stars Come Out

Album: Traveller (2015)
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Songfacts®:

  • Chris Stapleton tips his hat here to 1970s California country-rock. He penned the song in Los Angeles with Dan Wilson (Adele's "Someone Like You").

    Stapleton recalled: "The night before we wrote I was looking up at the sky from my hotel room and noticing how the city lights drown out the stars. I decided to take a walk down the street and find something to eat. As I walked, I noticed everyone looked like 'somebody.' They all looked famous. They all looked like stars. I began to toy with the notion that maybe all of the LA stars are walking around. And perhaps some nights, they shine brighter than the city lights. That was the thought I brought to Dan the next morning."
  • Dan Wilson leaned about Chris Stapleton when Adele played him one of his videos during a songwriting session. In 2013, Wilson and Stapleton teamed up with The Preservation Hall Jazz Band to write songs for That's It!, the group's first album of original music. When Stapleton returned to Los Angeles, he come to Wilson's house, where they wrote this song.

    "He came with an idea: 'One of those LA nights, when the stars come out,' Wilson said in the booklet to his 2017 Re-Covered album, on which he recorded a new version of this song. "I told him that even on a good night there aren't really that many stars visible in LA due to the city lights and the smog. He patiently explained to me that it was a metaphor. It wasn't literally about the sky, it was about LA's stars - pop stars and movie stars - coming out to shine. Ahh. I get it."

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