Sturgill Simpson – Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
2015 – High Top Mountain Records
Sturgill Simpson is the real deal. He is a great singer, songwriter, arranger, and guitarist. Those who have read this blog, or know me, may be a little surprised that I am writing about a modern (metamodern) country album. While I am super picky about music, I don’t let genres bias my preferences. If music is well done, I can appreciate it. It doesn’t matter where it comes from, or what tradition it draws from, real musicianship is an easily definable quality. This doesn’t necessarily mean technical proficiency. The music needs to be genuine, and not made for the purpose to having a “hit”. In the modern country scene, there are very few artists that are putting out what I would actually call music, but Simpson is one. He writes great songs and his musicians are great. They all play with energy and the songs contain little twists and turns that make them interesting. In “Living the Dream” there is one measure of 6 that is just a subtle change in the norm that keeps this album interesting. This music is definitely rooted in the 70s country and bluegrass tradition, which makes it an interesting album to listen to for me, not really having those as direct influences on my music. If you haven’t heard Simpson yet, it is time to check him out. He had a great performance on SNL last year that is definitely worth looking up. Get to listening!