Sturgill Simpson has seen quite a few notable distinctions in his career over the last few years, but being interviewed by one of the most respected journalists in all of media must be a new high water mark for the songwriter and performer.
On Thursday evening (10/14), Sturgill Simpson’s interview with Charlie Rose aired on PBS stations (see below), and along with delving into his life story, the songwriting process, and the inspiration behind his most recent record A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, he echoed the sentiments of George Strait and many others that the tide is turning in country music, and there may be more hope than ever for musicians like him.
“In the case of the first album ‘High Top Mountain,’ yes we did shop that around to just about every label in Nashville and even a lot of non-country independent outlets,” Sturgill explains. “Everybody passed. I think I was ahead of the curve honestly. Now if I tried to release that first record I would probably find a lot of homes for it. This was 2012-2013. It’s been a very progressive three years in terms of people searching harder to find sounds that maybe they’ve realized they’re missing.”
“Obviously there’s a large audience out there for the kind of records that I’m making, or a guy like Chris Stapleton’s making, or a guy like Jason Isbell’s making,” Sturgill continues. “I’ve got no problem with them selling the wares they’ve been selling for 25-30, but there are a lot of people out there that would really appreciate hearing the other stuff too. In a landscape for what is essentially a dying business model, I would think if I were running a label, I would look for ways to sustain my business, and look for artists that are trying to do something on a more human [level].”
Sturgill also had a great quote about the “life sauce” that he tries to put in his music.
“The wrinkles, and the scars. I like things to have a cohesive deterioration if that makes sense. I want to make wide screen music, so you can just immerse yourself. Those are the records I always loved.”
You can see the full interview and a performance below.