‘A Sailor’s Guide to Earth’ rocketed to the top of the iTunes charts, landing at #1 in country, and #7 overall. And that wasn’t the only album that saw a sales spike. What’s also a bit surprising is how the country music industry seems to be ignoring the surge, while talking about the surge for other artists.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth
The fact that the Grammy committee considered turning down ‘A Sailor’s Guide’ for Best Country Album shows how stringent the litmus test is for these country categories. This is important because of the controversy that erupted after it was revealed that Beyoncé’s song “Daddy Lessons” was turned down by the same committee for not being country enough.
Yeah yeah, it’s awesome that Sturgill Simpson received an Album of the Year nomination from the Grammy Awards for A Sailor’s Guide to Earth and everything, and just the nomination itself feels like an awesome victory overcoming insurmountable odds for an underdog record and artist. But what are the prospects that Sturgill Simpson could actually win this thing?
A Sailor's Guide to Earth, Adele, Alabama Shakes, Alison Krauss, Arcade Fire, Beck, Chris Stapleton, Grammy Awards, Herbie Hancock, Norah Jones, O Brother Where Art Thou, Ray Charles, Robert Plant, Steely Dan, Sturgill Simpson
Sturgill Simpson is currently in the running and being voted on by members of the Country Music Association for three of the 50th Anniversary presentation’s biggest prizes. Also surprising since she’s not on a major label, Margo Price has made the top 20 females being considered for Female Vocalist of the Year.
Sturgill Simpson’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is officially the #1 record in country music, and is also the highest-charting debut of the week at #3 on the all genre Billboard 200 chart. The only thing keeping Sturgill from the top of the Billboard 200 were two surging titles from Price that sold like crazy in the hours after the superstar’s death.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth will still be the top debut album for the week, and according to Sturgill, it doesn’t symbolize a complete shift in his music career henceforth, just a “pause” in his country output. Speaking to KCRW where Sturgill performed the new album in its entirety (see below), he told the crowd how his son had inspired the album.
Sturgill Simpson is poised to have the #1 album in all of music next week with his new release A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, and Chris Stapleton’s Traveller could come in right behind him at #2. Nipping at their heels is the newest album from Santana released by Thirty Tigers called Santana IV, and Rihanna’s latest record Anti, supported by strong streaming numbers for the week.
The idea that country music is somehow a limited musical format is an illusion, and an excuse. Instrumentation is just the clothing; it’s what you say, and how you say it that counts. The only true restrictions a country music artist or any musician faces are those they put on themselves.
Sturgill Simpson made his second appearance on the long-winded Joe Rogan Experience podcast on Monday (4-4) ahead of the release of his new album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth out April 15th, and talked many subjects with the comedian, including the new album. “This is definitely a record that anybody that knows about me, I would like them to hear as a record, because that’s how I recorded it to be heard.”
“Some people will say, and have said, that I’m trying to run from country, but I’m never going to make anything other than a country record. As soon as I open my mouth, it’s going to be a country song. . . but it doesn’t make the think pieces any less amusing.”
Two days after posting a cryptic image on his website and social network properties, Sturgill Simpson conducted a rare and exclusive 3-minute interview on Beats 1 Radio with Zane Lowe, and announced his upcoming 3rd studio solo album A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. Sturgill also played a new song as part of the interview.