A two volume set, Sturgill Simpson assembled his crew of the finest bluegrass pickers around, AKA the Hillbilly Avengers, and the group recut many of the songs from his first three albums. Dubbed Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 1: The Butcher Shoppe Sessions and Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 2: The Cowboy Arms Sessions, it was a phenomenal project to wrap up what was otherwise a pretty shitty year.
And the best part? The albums came after fans raised a bunch of money for a number of charities including the Special Forces Foundation, the Equity Alliance, and the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund.
“I’m already pretty much done writing my next record now.”
But when asked if it was going to be anything like his Cuttin’ Grass project, which was recorded and released in a matter of weeks, Sturgill said that it was going to be the complete opposite:
“No, I’m gonna take my sweet-ass time on this one because I’m pretty sure I’m about to make my opus and then bow out and vaporize like Houdini.
I’ve put out three records in about a year, so I feel like I owe myself, and the music, a little space to really hunker down with the subject matter. That’s really all I can say, but I’m going to take my time because, for so many reasons, I finally have the time.
That’s the bittersweet thing. What monumentally has been the shittiest, strangest, most surreal year of my lifetime has also been the most gratifying and greatest year of my career.”
Welp, in Sturgill world, his sweet-ass time is about six months.
And GOD BLESS ‘EM FOR IT.
Titled The Ballad Of Dood & Juanita, Sturgill Simpson’s 5th studio album is set for release on August 20th, with the vinyl set to arrive on December 3rd.
“I just wanted to write a story—not a collection of songs that tell a story, but an actual story, front to back… a rollercoaster ride through all the styles of traditional country and bluegrass and mountain music that I love, including gospel and a cappella.”
Written and recorded in less than a week, the new concept album also features the Hillbilly Avengers band from his Cuttin’ Grass albums and as far as the story goes, Stu calls it “a simple tale of either redemption or revenge.”
2. “Ol’ Dood” (part I)
3. “One in the Saddle, One on the Ground”
5. “Played Out”
7. “Juanita” (featuring Willie Nelson)
8. “Go in Peace”
10. “Ol’ Dood” (part II)
Sturgill has said in the past that he is going to release 5 albums and then be done with it, and for the most part, aside from side-projects like the Cuttin’ Grass collection, it sounds like he might be sticking to that.
Then again, maybe not…
And while we’re at it, Sturgill has also announced a run of shows at the Ryman Auditorium in November, in addition to his run of shows at Webster Hall near the end of September… you’re not going to want to miss that.
Also, just as a side note, Sturgill is back on Instagram so you’re gonna wanna mash that follow button… the dude is entertaining as all hell.