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Thread: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

  1. #1
    Registered User Gibcaster000's Avatar
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    Default Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    In case some folks may not have heard yet, Sturgill Simpson released a surprise album late last week consisting of bluegrass recordings of a bunch of his previous songs.

    He cut the album with a pretty impressive band of A-list bluegrass musicians - Sierra Hull on mandolin and backing vocals, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Scott Vestal on banjo, Tim O’Brien and Mark Howard on guitar, and Mike Bub on bass.

    Sierra Hull's mandolin and backing vocals are absolutely a highlight of the album. It's physical release is in early December but it is up on spotify and on Sturgill's youtube channel already: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?lis...NQQ_LDiBFCu4IY

    Very much worth a listen IMHO.
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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    Am not much into BG myself....but this is really good.

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    Registered User Scott Rucker's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    I downloaded it and can't decide if I love or hate it. One one hand, it's pretty good daggone bluegrass even if I'm not a fan of there being drums on it. On the other, his ability to perform bluegrass isn't what turned me on to him in the first place. There are plenty of other good bluegrass bands and musicians out there but his ability to draw a lot of different influences into his own psychedelic version of country was fairly unique.

    I feel a similar way about Tyler Childers's recent old time string band release. It isn't my personal brand of old time but may expose a lot of younger fans to some of my favorite music. Either way, it isn't why I liked listening to him in the first place.

    That just my two cents. These folks have to follow their own muse and I respect that even if it isn't what I "expect" from them.

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    Heard a little of it on the radio (I'm in Kentucky after all). It was not Bluegrass, it was country played with some instruments normally used in bluegrass. Relatively prominent mandolin (Sierra Hull, very nice!) and drums(!). There was some banjo going on way back in the mix.

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    Purveyor of Sunshine sgarrity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    I would call it an acoustic country album and it is awesome!

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    Registered User bbcee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    I coincidently heard him for the very first time via the local radio station the other day (this album's version of "All Around You") and had to find out who the mandolin player was. Ms. Hull all the way!

    The Ryman Auditorium version also has a heck of a vibe.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6z_-qOV0Dw
    Last edited by bbcee; Oct-22-2020 at 9:18am.

  9. #7

    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    For those new to Sturgill, he hit the Americana scene with a voice and band influenced by classic country and some interesting songs. He got pretty big pretty quick in terms of non commercial country audiences who were craving that Waylon/Merle sound.

    He released what you might call a psychedelic rock and roll album last year, coupled with an arena tour as a three piece rock band (co-billed with Tyler Childers) this year before the pandemic. I went to one of the shows. It was one of the hardest rocking shows I ever saw...led by his hard core electric guitar playing. I think that most recent album brought him a lot of attention and perhaps alienated his fans that loved his retro country voice and earlier sounds. It was definitely not a country show.

    So, this bluegrass oriented album is a big throw back to his earlier sound. So much so that every song is a re-record of songs from his earlier albums.

    Here is a good article about it https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/a...n-grass-vol-1/

    And, a write up where he explains the roots of this album: https://www.savingcountrymusic.com/s...n-grass-vol-1/

    Personally I think the songs are great (even if previously recorded) and the band is super tight. Hull is great as expected. The connection back to his roots is also pretty interesting. If you listen to the album and then go right into the 2019 rock album, you would never believe they were recorded 12 months apart.

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    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    For a while he was doing shows with more of an R&B slant, with a horn section and STAX/Muscle Shoals feel. I don't know if he recorded anything like that. He is a creative force.

    I try to be open-eared and not a purist about genres, but for me the drum kit is just a distraction. It's obvious that he intended this to be heard as a bluegrass recording. The album is awesome in spite of it, to my ears.

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    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    Quote Originally Posted by lowtone2 View Post
    For a while he was doing shows with more of an R&B slant, with a horn section and STAX/Muscle Shoals feel. I don't know if he recorded anything like that. He is a creative force.
    He did record an album with The Dap Kings, a horn section. "A Sailor's Guide to Earth" is really good as well. I love all of his projects so far. Had tickets to see him in Portland, OR earlier this year with Tyler Childers. Cancelled.
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  13. #10

    Default Re: Sturgill Simpson Bluegrass Album

    Quote Originally Posted by Gibcaster000 View Post
    Sierra Hull's mandolin and backing vocals are absolutely a highlight of the album.
    I heard this on the radio yesterday while working in the yard. The mando bit in "I don't mind" almost made me cry. I dropped everything and ran inside with my muddy boots to find the radio station track list to figure out who is playing so beautifully.

    https://open.spotify.com/track/0NkiE...QceIUdr18jIy3Q

    Andrew

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