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Sturgill Simpson Cuts The Blue Grass With A Fine Blade

Sturgill Simpson New Album

Sturgill Simpson – Photo: LTTL

Sturgill Simpson

Surprise Release – Goes Bluegrass

Cuttin’ Grass Vol 1 – The Butcher Shoppe Sessions

By Rob Dickens

Sturgill Simpson has provided three surprises here – one, he’s released an album with scarcely a word of warning. Two, he’s eshewed his increasingly loud, showy later recordings with a beautifully-weighted bluegrass collection with some wonderful players. Three, he found enough of his own material to fill a double album with this new treatment.

Cuttin’ Grass Vol 1 – The Butcher Shoppe Sessions is out now digitally on High Top Mountain Records via Thirty Tigers/The Orchard/Cooking Vinyl Australia. Vinyl preorder available now for release December 11, 2020. PREORDER HERE

Simpson returns to the music of his native Kentucky with his first bluegrass project which he calls “a mixtape for the fans.”  While recovering from COVID-19, Simpson started a fundraiser for his favorite charities, promising fans he would release a new album if a donation goal was exceeded. A super group of bluegrass musicians was formed (as their own projects were on hold due to the pandemic), and a three-day recording session was scheduled.

Photo: Semi Song

This album is the result, released October 16, 2020. 

Says Simpson: “I had it in my mind for a long time that someday I want to cut as many of these songs as possible in this fashion, just organic and stripped down to the raw bones of the composition.  If you can’t sit down and play a song like that, it’s probably a pretty shitty song.”

Let me be clear, there’s not a shitty song on this record! It is a welcome turn for this Kentucky native who has a fresh look at the territory known for its arts, coal-mining heritage and, mostly, regarded as ‘The Bluegrass State’.

The song selection , the masterful playing and the flow through the twenty tracks are like a cool zephyr on a hot day. The re-imagining of the songs across his growing catalogue sound like classic bluegrass material, affirming his status as a great songwriter.

I only received this album yesterday and have listened to nothing else since.

I wonder what Sturgill Simpson will turn his hand to next?

The first single

PLAYERS
Vocals, Rhythm Guitar: Sturgill Simpson
Mandolin, Vocals: Sierra Hull
Bass: Mike Bub
Fiddle, Vocals: Stuart Duncan
Banjo, Vocals: Scott Vestal
Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Vocals: Tim O’Brien
Rhythm Guitar, Lead Guitar, Vocals: Mark Howard
Percussion, Vocals: Miles Miller

Produced by: David Ferguson
Mixed and Engineered by: David Ferguson & Sean Sullivan
Mastered by: Richard Dodd

Photo: Semi Song

Tracklist – ‘Cuttin’ Grass Vol 1 – The Butcher Shoppe Sessions’:

TRACKLIST

  1. “All Around You” – from A Sailor’s Guide To Earth (2016), performed this song with The Dap Kings at the 59th GRAMMYs
  2. “All The Pretty Colors” – a Sunday Valley song, from album To the Wind and On to Heaven (2011)
  3. “Breakers Roar” – from A Sailor’s Guide To Earth (2016)
  4. “I Don’t Mind” – a Sunday Valley song, from album To the Wind and On to Heaven (2011)
  5. “I Wonder” – a Sunday Valley song, from album To the Wind and On to Heaven (2011)
  6. “Just Let Go” – from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
  7. “Life Ain’t Fair and the World Is Mean” – from High Top Mountain (2013)
  8. “A Little Light” – from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
  9. “Life Of Sin” – from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
  10. “Long White Line” – from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
  11. “Living The Dream” – from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
  12. “Old King Coal” – from High Top Mountain (2013)
  13. “Railroad of Sin” –  from High Top Mountain (2013)
  14. “Sitting Here Without You” –  from High Top Mountain (2013)
  15. “Sometimes Wine” – a Sunday Valley song, from album To the Wind and On to Heaven (2011)
  16. “The Storm” – from High Top Mountain (2013)
  17. “Time After All” – from High Top Mountain (2013)
  18. “Turtles All The Way Down” –  from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
  19. “Voices” –  from Metamodern Sounds in Country Music (2014) 
  20. “Water In A Well” – from High Top Mountain (2013)

Since breaking through in 2014 with his Grammy-nominated Metamodern Sounds in Country Music album, Sturgill Simpson has established himself as a daring and acclaimed artist, with a strong singular vision. His music stretches across genres and styles, from the psychedelic soul of 2016’s A Sailor’s Guide To Earth (Grammy nominated for Album of the Year and winner for Best Country Albumto the fuzzed-out rock attack of Sound & Fury in 2019.

Simpson debuted in 2013 with his independent release High Top Mountain. He made his acting debut in the CBS All Access series $1 and has appeared in several movies, including Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die (for which he also wrote and performed the theme song), and had a pivotal role in the award-winning Queen & Slim.  The Sound & Fury album was accompanied by a ground-breaking anime film (an interest Simpson picked up during his years in the Navy), on Netflix.  Simpson also remains committed to philanthropy, supporting such non-profit organizations as the Special Forces Foundation, The Equity Alliance and MusicCares.

ADVERTISE WITH LISTENING THROUGH THE LENS

Via Jo Corbett Publicity

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Sturgill Simpson New Album

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Author: Rob Dickens

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