So y’all have many, many bases covered here at DiS it seems. However I do not see a proper thread for Sturgill Simpson so I’d like to do the honors. I’d like to quickly preface it by saying I am by no means an authority on American country music. That being said, I grew up in the American Midwest and have lived in the American South for the last 15 years, so it’s pretty much impossible not to be exposed to loads of country music. It’s my opinion that the vast majority of it created for popular consumption in the last 25 years has been mind numbingly bland, unoriginal, and beloved by people who often exclusively enjoy a single genre—country music. The music thus reflects the lack of artistic and intellectual curiosity of those who consume it. Obviously there are always exceptions and of course some unknown bluegrass badass getting it done in some honky tonk half empty saloon who can play his or her dick off but that is not what one can easily find in modern country. Alt Country rock has been around for years (Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Lucero etc.) and has done well but this stuff is more rock than country and very few country music fans would even recognize these acts. I feel that very few genres stagnated as obviously as this once vital and meaningful genre. So it’s for that reason that Sturgill Simpson thrills me as much as he does. In my view, he’s an extremely important artist and has accomplished the rare feat of topping himself each time across the space of his three albums. A buddy of mine who plays in an “outlaw” country band and has opened for the likes of Hank Williams JR. and shares many musical tastes with me pretty much forced me to consume Simpson, passionately stating that this guy was here to make the genre relevant again, and was blowing the minds of, and freaking out, the country establishment. I thank him to this day for the recommendation and consider Simpson to be one of my very favorite modern artists, and I feel like he’s really just getting started. So I’m going to post three videos, one from each album period, and I hope a few of you dig it. Sorry for the long post but I’m still getting used to pimping a country artist, I am probably going to unnecessary lengths to make my case
This is from his first album. This is by far his most traditional country album and basically consists of him paying homage to the rootsy bluegrass and classic country he grew up with. It’s a fun record but is really more of a record establishing he is indeed a country artist, before he starts fucking with the genre.
This is the title cut from his second album. This was the song that made me sit up and really start paying attention.
And this from his most recent. Just a gorgeous song. Very tender. This album should have rightfully taken best country album in 2017, but country still isn’t there yet, so Chris Stapleton got it. Which is not a horrible choice Stapleton is also working hard to bring some badassery back to country and is a great artist too—he just isn’t nearly as creative or boundary pushing as Sturgill.
Quick correction: turtles is not the title cut, I meant to say opening cut, my bad
yeah he’s great. Prefer his uptempo stuff though, some of the ballads are a bit bland to me. The concept and sound of Sailor’s Guide to Earth worked really well and I expect many more excellent records from him.
Anyone who likes Sturgill should also check out Colter Wall, bit less forward-thinking but another young guy with a superb voice who’s making country on the right side of the cheese line
Hey, you ever been to Boise, Idaho by any chance?
Yeah really like him. Sailors Guide To Earth was brilliant. Loved the concept, ability to fuse so many genres together (funk, r&b etc) and songwriting. Ended up getting nominated for best album at the Grammy’s alongside Beyonce, Justin Beiber and Drake. Which is huge for a relative unknown (at least in the UK).
Saw him at Shepherds Bush and he played all three albums back to back. Pretty great
Love ASGTE but didn’t really connect with Metamodern Sounds, despite some folks in here speaking highly of it at the time. Probably time to revisit…
One of the few people I can think of who covered Nirvana without me thinking ‘this is nowhere near as good as the original’.
Me? Actually, sort of. Winter of 2001, while driving back to Michigan from Utah following our attendance at the Sundance Film Festival. We were student film makers at the time and went out there to promote a pretentious art film we made, but we just ended up partying with the Slamdance crew and hanging out with the Vivid Video girls. Idaho is a blur of snow and pain to me though. We were strung out on whippets while careening down closed roads in a white out blizzard. I foolishly ate some fried chicken in a random Idaho gas station and ended up screaming in digestive agony while my friends and wife to be clowned on me and tried to make our way out of the state. Oh, memories.
It took me a while to be won round by The Sturg. Watching him on SNL was when it clicked. Seen him live twice since. He put on a solid show and he’s a good guy.
That performance blew the roof off. Thanks for posting
Yeah he’s absolutely ace - only heard about him from a friend in August and haven’t been listening to much else since
Listened to some Colter Wall new pre-release stuff on the recommendation. Old school in a good way. Awesome voice, reminiscent of St.Cash but that’s totally fine by me.