The Metamodern rise of Sturgill Simpson could be classified as meteoric, and his dramatic ascent in the last few months is virtually unparalleled in the modern country music world for an independent artist. Amidst the swelling crowds, the high praise, and far flung accolades, let’s look back at Sturgill Simpson, and take a moment to reflect on how he got here.
High Top Mountain
In Time is not simply the best album in country music in 2013, it is arguably one of the best, if not the best album in all of American music, and for it not to win the day in it’s home genre of country music would be a silly oversight, and tough to justify as In Time only becomes fortified by the test of time, divested from trend or taste as it is, and embedded with such universal appeal.
2013 has been self-proclaimed by Saving Country Music as the “Year of the Songwriter,” and this list of candidates for SCM’s Album of the Year reflect that dynamic of an elevated bar of songwriting excellence that these 8 artists have set. There is no arbitrary number of slots for candidates for this award. Nominees are chosen only if they have a legitimate chance of winning…
12 Stories, 2013, album of the year, Austin Lucas, best albums, Brandy Clark, Brent Amaker & The Rodeo, Caitlin Rose The Stand-In, Eric Strickland, Gone Away Backward, High Top Mountain, In The Throes, In Time, Jason Isbell, Jayke Orvis, John Moreland, Lindi Ortega, Possessed by Paul James, Robbie Fulks, Southeastern, Sturgill Simpson, The Mavericks, The White Buffalo, Year of the Dragon
Country music savior and critically-acclaimed songsmith Sturgill Simpson has been making waves all over the country with his new breakout album High Top Mountain released on June 11th, and now he threatens to take the high-flying act international in the the video for his heart-pounding, hot plate, house on fire, country as hell, soon to be hit single “Railroad of Sin.”
2013 has come on strong here recently for quality albums, with some real contenders for the coveted “Album of the Year” distinction released just in the last week. Any “Best Of” album list for 2013 is also going to reflect the leadership and creativity displayed by country music women, which has become one of the year’s underlying themes so far.
2013 Best Albums, Best Country Albums of 2013, Bless This Mess, Caitlin Rose, Dark & Dirty Mile, Eric Strickland, High Top Mountain, Holly Williams, I'm Bad For You, Jason Boland & The Stragglers, Jason Isbell, Jayke Orvis, Southeastern, Sturgill Simpson, The Dinosaur Truckers, The Highway, The Mavericks In Time, The Stand In
The front man for the wanton and reckless Sunday Valley project is all growns up, and lays down a fiercely traditional, hardcore honky tonk album slathered with steel guitar, country keys from Hall of Famer Hargus “Pig” Robbins, and whatever else is called for and in ample measure to give life and color to Sturgill’s blue ribbon offerings.
For a while now I’ve been coveting an interview with Sturgill Simpson. I’d show up to his live shows with my stupid little palm-sized audio recorder at the ready, and though he’s always been a nice and cordial guy, as soon as I’d mention the word “interview,” I’d get a bit of a sideways look, chased by a courteous, but firm, “I’d prefer to let the music speak for itself.” But I finally got it.
Have you ever had a dessert that’s just too rich? A girlfriend or boyfriend that’s just too damn hot? That’s how it feels with Sturgill Simpson’s music. This stuff is so good, it hurts. Any new material from Sturgill demands an immediate stop down of one’s life to pay attention. Seriously Sturgill, we’ve got shit to do.
Eastern Kentucky’s Sturgill Simpson will be releasing his long-awaited debut solo album High Top Mountain on June 11th, via Thirty Tigers. Comprised of 12 tracks, 10 of which were written by Sturgill, the album’s songs “…range from furious honky-tonk to pre-outlaw country rocking to spellbinding bluegrass pickin’ to emotional balladry, making the album a one-stop guide to everything genuine in country music.”