Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Fashionably Late Top 60 of 2014 #1b: Sturgill Simpson

2014 was quite a year. Not the best of years, on a personal level, but a rather good year from a music standpoint. Having given a listen to record after record after record from the year that was, I’ve pulled together a list of favorites, finding it next to impossible to whittle the list down any further beyond 60 (I tried). In this group of 60 you’ll find records from old, faithful friends, upstart newcomers, and even a headscratcher or two. You’ll probably see some records that were a Big Deal not on this list. I either didn’t bite or didn’t buy the hype. I’m pleased as punch with this list, and I hope you’ll come across something that might have otherwise passed you by. And so, without further ado, my favorite records of 2014.

WHO: Sturgill Simpson

WHAT: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music

WHEN: May 2014

WHERE: High Top Mountain Records

WHY: The first time I heard Sturgill Simpson's voice I about had to pick my jaw up off the floor. This man has a holy hellfire gorgeous voice, a voice out of time, like he should have been coming out of Nashville in the 70s but instead he's in the here and now (and thank heaven for that). For everyone who has bemoaned the drivel that is popular country music these days, this record is enough to restore your faith. A play on the title of that classic Ray Charles record Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, on Metamodern Sounds in Country Music Simpson effortlessly croons his way through not nearly enough modern country classics, turning trials and tribulations into nigh on perfect songs. It doesn't hurt that he throws in an unexpected, tear-jerkingly tender cover of one of my favorite 80s synth pop songs "The Promise." As far as I'm concerned, Sturgill Simpson can do no wrong. This one's going to stick with me for a good long time.  

My jams: All of 'em




[posted 5.20.15]

2 comments:

  1. This album was my top album last year. If you like this, check out the new albums by Whitey Morgan, Chris Stapleton and Jason Isbell. Lindi Ortega is another great country musician who has a new one coming out in August. She's dark like Johnny Cash dark, Sturgill was in the studio with Dave Cobb back in January so there's a possibility of a new album this year although he's under contract with Atlantic Records now so he's at their mercy as far as an actual release date.

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  2. Thanks for those recommendations! I'm crossing my fingers we get more Sturgill this year.

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