Years ago when a long time friend introduced me to Sturgill Simpson’s song “You Can Have the Crown” I was hooked. It was a time of transformation in my life. I was graduating college and for the first time in life I had discovered true faith in Christ’s love.
Metamodern Sounds in Country Music seemed to be poking straight into my broken soul. I kept songs like “Just Let Go” and “Turtles All the Way Down” on repeat. I was enamored by the beauty of this musician from my own home state of Kentucky. A fresh conception of country music, the howling voice, the orchestral sound that elevated these songs of love to their proper height.
When A Sailor’s Guide to Earth released I was skeptical. It took me a few listens before I began truly appreciating the artwork I was experiencing. One of my favorite artists was taking a bold step, out on a thin branch, in relation to his previous music that I had loved so dearly.
Reading the news that Simpson had been nominated for Album of the Year lit a fire under me. It was inspirational. I couldn’t believe the list of nominees I was reading; Adele, Drake, Beyoncé, Justin Bieber, and King Turd himself.
Simpson’s success at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards proved the worth of hard work and staying true to your art. Album of the Year was lost out to Adele, but he was able to snatch up Country Album of the Year. And from this fan’s perspective the primary victory was that of a world class artist becoming undeniable.
With Sturgill’s latest release of Sound and Fury I found myself scratching my head once again, a sound like something from the 80’s infused with apocalyptic techno/rock. More importantly another sharp crack in the constant noise of our day. Something true.
Artists, take careful note. It’s easy to become frozen by critical eyes and ears. Move forward with an open heart and mind. Do not worry yourself into false paralysis.
Sturgill Simpson stepped out on the branch a few years back. Now in 2019 he’s jumping up and down. Honestly, I hope he brings down the whole damn tree.