Sturgill Simpson is without a doubt one of the greatest country music artists of the last 20 years.
One could even make the argument that he is one of the greatest of all time, and I wouldn’t necessarily put up a fight. The Jackson, Kentucky native was one of the first modern artists to prove that you don’t need major label support or the backing of the Nashville music machine to sell out big venues, win awards, and grow extremely passionate fan bases.
He has paved the way not only for plenty of the artists coming out of Eastern Kentucky and the greater Appalachia region right now, but for artists all across the country who have blazed their own trail and prioritized the sake of the song over chasing commercial success.
And despite all this, I feel as if people still don’t listen to Sturgill’s music enough. I mean, I know I am guilty of this, and for me, I think it can mostly be due to Sturgill’s relative absence from the spotlight since his last album release.
Sturgill suffered a vocal cord hemorrhage in September 2021, less than a month following the release of The Ballad Of Dood & Juanita, and was forced to cancel the tour dates he had set to promote the album. Moreover, he has stated throughout his career that he would only record five studio albums (not including the bluegrass projects) and be done…. which means his recording career may be over.
He has since doubled down, saying that he is done recording solo, ambiguously leaving open the option to record with bands or in other capacities, but there is still quite a bit of uncertainty regarding his future music making.
So, with a lack of new content for listeners and no opportunity for his fans to see him perform live, it seems to me that people seem to have waned off of his music a bit. And that’s a shame.
In an effort to combat this, I’ve ranked my favorite Sturgill Simpson albums below, and included my two favorite songs off of each album as well.
While every album in his catalog is spectacular in its own right, and all are well worth a listen for those who haven’t heard them, I do enjoy some better than others.
So without further ado check out my ranking of Sturgill Simpson’s seven studio albums here: