Right as I was about to pack it in for the night, Sturgill drops another surprise album on us… and it’s not like I can just go to sleep without listening to it.
Titled Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 2 – The Cowboy Arms Sessions, many of the tunes are from Sailor’s Guide, the fan favorite “King Turd” is on there (actually called “You Can Have The Crown,” a song he’s said he wouldn’t play anymore), but there is also one more surprise waiting for us at the end. A brand new one called “Hobo Cartoon,” co-written by none other than the legendary Merle Haggard.
“We got to know each other in the last two years of his life. He would call a lot, we’d talk on the phone. When he got sick, he was still writing songs, even in his hospital bed. This just popped up one day in the in box—he sent me these lyrics in a text and he said ‘From one railroad man to another.’
After four or five years, it was time to cowboy up and give this thing a go. So I finished writing the song, and it just felt weird to imagine it with some big eight-piece band. Merle loved bluegrass, so it felt like a proper homage, really exposed and stripped down to the root of something. Maybe I’ll recut it with a hard country band one day, but it just seemed like a beautiful way to end this chapter.”