I’ve been trying to get more exercise lately so I’ve been walking after work. Instead of music I’ve been listening to podcasts and today I finished up Marc Maron’s WTF podcast with Sturgill Simpson. In it he mentions the ACM completely ignoring both him and Jason Isbell, who submitted his album for consideration for their yearly awards shindig and was ignored.
Then when I got home a friend had posted about Sturgill on FB:
I’m firmly Team Sturgill here. I can’t recognize what passes for mainstream country music these days. It’s mostly Processed Music Product and it makes me sad. I grew up with country music all around me – you couldn’t escape it in 1980s Tulsa. Once I got out of Oklahoma I avoided it like the plague, partly as a reaction to all the people who, upon learning I was an Okie, assumed I loved Garth Brooks. Then in the mid 90s a friend dragged me along with her to see the Old 97s at the 9:30 Club in DC. Alt-country, y’all-ternative, whatever, I loved it. Then came Slobberbone and the Drive-By Truckers, Wilco, Ryan Adams, Centromatic. And then into bluegrass, back to classic country, and now Jamey Johnson and Sturgill Simpson. I can’t put my finger on it but I feel like there’s a good twinge of punk in some of these artists, like the Avetts or Shovels & Rope. Like the Punch Brothers they don’t fit neatly in a box. Sturgill’s new album is all over the place, in a good way. It’s rich.
And here he is with Colbert at Waffle House because it makes me laugh: