Sturgill Simpson’s new tune just might blow your mind

Sturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson (Photo: Atlantic Records)

Sturgill Simson is possibly the most intriguing figure at the top of today’s US music culture. Outspoken, brash, and even off-putting at times, Simpson doesn’t hesitate to criticize the corporate music industry. He made his chops in country, but like so many others before him, Simpson used that platform as a springboard to building a massive base. I don’t know what genre I’d put him in. I do know the video for the single he just released, “Sing Along”, blew my mind. Continue reading “Sturgill Simpson’s new tune just might blow your mind”

Did Sturgill Simpson take his Facebook Live CMA protest show down?

Facebook posts on Sturgill Simpson protest CMA
As the CMA Awards show commenced, media focused attention on Sturgill Simpson’s protest broadcast via Facebook Live. (Snip/Facebook)

[This article has been updated below.]

Sturgill Simpson has been on my radar for quite some time, and I noted his protest of the Country Music Association’s Awards show last Tuesday, November 7. I didn’t get to watch the live show he did on Facebook, outside the arena where the CMA Awards were taking place.

So imagine my surprise when I tried to watch the live video today. I couldn’t find it.

Did he take it down? Continue reading “Did Sturgill Simpson take his Facebook Live CMA protest show down?”

Double feature: Sturgill Simpson teams up with Fantastic Negrito

album cover Last Days of Oakland
‘The Last Days of Oakland’ Album cover from Fantastic Negrito website.

Sturgill Simpson’s indie music has catapulted him to the top of the mountain, but he hasn’t confined himself to his own efforts. Simpson co-produced Tyler Childer’s album Purgatory now ranked near the top of the Country Billboard charts.

Now some of Simpson’s shows will comprise a double feature—the music of Fantastic Negrito. If you haven’t heard this guy, and if you like raw blues, you are missing out on a phenomenal talent.   Continue reading “Double feature: Sturgill Simpson teams up with Fantastic Negrito”

Sturgill Simpson helped produce indie musician Childers’ new album ‘Purgatory’

Childers' album Purgatory
Tyler Childers’ album ‘Purgatory’ is due out in August.

Sturgill Simpson, the indie musician who took his brand to the level just about any musician would love to enjoy, helped produce a new album for indie musician Tyler Childers.

The album ‘Purgatory’ comprising 10 of Childers’ songs will be out in August, and the backstory is interesting.  Continue reading “Sturgill Simpson helped produce indie musician Childers’ new album ‘Purgatory’”

Band Mom: Making a song

music score sheet for guitarLots of songs we hear nowadays are a collaboration among members of a team. Many of these songs are formulaic—an award-winning songwriter once explained to my daughter the standard format for a good country song. Naturally, she disregarded everything he said. Continue reading “Band Mom: Making a song”

What’s ahead in indie country and Americana?

Dylan St. Lawrence U Yearbook 1964
Few musicians have had an effect on music as profound as Bob Dylan. Shown here in 1964. (Via Wikipedia: 1964 Yearbook, St. Lawrence University)

Corporate country has pretty much gone cookie cutter, with musical offerings sounding as much like pop as country. Americana remains a hybrid, but that label gives an artist plenty of wiggle room.

What’s ahead for indie country and Americana, two genres often appearing to be joined at the hip?

Look at two trendsetters—both of them have indie in their past, and both are currently dominating the charts and awards circuit.
Continue reading “What’s ahead in indie country and Americana?”

For Sturgill Simpson, Grammy nomination is nod to ‘real music’

Sturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson’s album ‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth’ (Atlantic) has received a Grammy nomination. Simpson released his first two albums himself. (Photo: Atlantic Records)

When news broke that Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth had been nominated for a Grammy, many people were surprised. I wasn’t.  Continue reading “For Sturgill Simpson, Grammy nomination is nod to ‘real music’”

Lewis aims for country roots with ‘Sinner’

Aaron Lewis 'Sinner'
Aaron Lewis recently released his album ‘Sinner’.

Aaron Lewis, familiar to many as lead vocalist in the band Staind, is aiming for country music roots as the genre is increasingly affected by creeping pop. Lewis’ latest album, Sinner, released recently, includes the song ‘That Ain’t Country’, an ode to a style of music that is based on heritage and to some degree, geography in the sense of ties to an agrarian culture, past or present.

Lewis’ criticism of some artists who are taking the country out of country is well-placed.  Continue reading “Lewis aims for country roots with ‘Sinner’”