During a July 2019 Omaha, Ne. show, Chris Stapleton tested out two as-yet unreleased songs in front of an eager crowd. The first of those new tunes, "Minimum Wage," brings a bluesy streak and some high-octane songwriter power. The second, "The Bad Side of the Blood," is a toe-tapping, sinister ode to being the black sheep in a family of upstanding citizens.

Stapleton began sprinkling "The Bad Side of the Blood" into his live sets earlier in the summer, treating crowds in Pennsylvania, Iowa, New York and more to the unreleased tune. In many ways, the song is vintage Stapleton, hearkening back to evil-sounding, searing, vocally virtuosic tracks like "Nobody to Blame."

While it may veer more into the blues than some Stapleton fans are used to, "Minimum Wage" -- the other unreleased song he performed during his Omaha set -- also stays true to the singer's roots. After all, Stapleton's first-ever foray into mainstream success, a twist on "Tennessee Whiskey," took cues from the powerhouse soul inflections of Etta James' "I Would Rather Go Blind." Since then, the singer has made a masterful case for the blending of country music with soul and the blues.

In addition to his new solo material, Stapleton has also been busily duetting with other artists recently. His new duets include a contribution to Sheryl Crow's new album, Threads, called "Tell Me When it's Over," as well as an onstage John Mayer collaboration called "I Just Remembered That I Didn't Care."

Despite this abundance of new material, Stapleton has yet to announce an official project to follow up his two 2017 albums, From A Room: Volume 1 and From A Room: Volume 2. In the meantime, he's keeping busy on the road. The singer's annual All-American Road Show Tour picks back up on October, with Brothers Osborne and Kendell Marvel in tow, and will run through November.

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