Sturgill Simpson shocked the world Tuesday morning when it was announced his third solo record A Sailor’s Guide to Earth was nominated for the Grammy Awards’ Album of the Year right beside records from Adele, Drake, Justin Bieber, and Beyoncé. Sturgill Simpson fans are still trying to digest the nomination while the rest of the world is asking, “Who in the hell is Sturgill Simpson?” But at the moment there’s an even more pressing concern: Will Sturgill Simpson even be there to accept the award if he wins, and will he have the opportunity to perform? Sturgill is also up for Best Country Album, which in recent years has also been part of the prime time telecast.
Sturgill’s distaste and distrust for awards shows is pretty well documented, specifically when he called out the ACM’s by saying, “they should drop all the formulaic cannon fodder bullshit they’ve been pumping down rural America’s throat for the last 30 years along with all the high school pageantry, meat parade award show bullshit and start dedicating their programs to more actual Country Music.”
But the Grammy Awards are a bit of a different story. The Grammy’s actually award real musicians and artists, including in roots categories such as Americana, bluegrass, blues, folk, and American roots. Sturgill Simpson has been nominated for a Grammy before for his album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, though he didn’t win.
So will Sturgill drop the attitude against the “high school pageantry, meat parade award show bullshit” and attend? Well apparently it all comes down to a family matter.
In an interview with The New York Times Tuesday after the announcement of the Grammy nominations, Sturgill Simpson explained the quandary.
“It’s way too early for all that. I can tell you that my wife and I have our second child on the way, due any time in the first two weeks of February,” Sturgill explains. “So this is all a little hairy. But it’s all so fresh. I would love to be there, but I’m not going to miss a birth for it. [Laughs]”
The Grammy Awards are on February 12th, so we’ll just have to see. As for how Sturgill feels about the nominations in general,
“I certainly didn’t expect to have a Country Album of the Year nomination for this record, much less to be in the Album of the Year category,” he says. “I asked my wife, ‘Why do I feel scared right now?’ I don’t even know what this means. How does it affect our life, or my career? I’m just trying to avoid any completely unnecessary expectations that people might think this puts on my career going forward. I’m not going to change how I approach my art.”
Sturgill also says he was intending to take the year off, but now is reconsidering due to the renewed interest in his music.
“It might be a good idea to go play some shows again, I don’t know, given how many millions of people are saying, ‘Who the [expletive] is Sturgill Simpson?’ as of this morning.”