Early in 2018, we all knew Chris Stapleton was going to take the stage on Saturday Night Live, but none of could’ve predicted that Sturgill Simpson would be up there with him until Chris tweeted that day, “tonight we’ve got some extra Kentucky in NYC.”
And they KILLED it.
Performing “Hard Livin'” and “Midnight Train To Memphis,” two cuts from Chris’ 2017 album, From A Room: Volume 2, these two Kentucky boys damn near blew the roof off the place.
Really though, does it get better?
“Midnight Train To Memphis”
And speaking of badass Saturday Night Live performances, you can’t forget Stu’s solo trip to 30 Rockefeller Plaza for a face melting performance of “Call To Arms.”
Sturgill Simpson Returns To The Stage For Willie Nelson’s 90th Birthday
Since the release of his critically acclaimed The Ballad Of Dood & Juanitaalbum in 2021, Sturgill Simpson has been relatively quiet. Mostly due to the fact that he has been rehabbing the pipes after a vocal cord rupture, but nevertheless, Stu is back in the spotlight… and that’s always a good thing.
However Sturgill also graced the stage once again this year (for the first time since his vocal cord rupture to my knowledge) to celebrate Willie Nelson’s 90th birthday back in April. The two-day event at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, California, features a star-studded lineup including the likes of Tyler Childers, George Strait, Miranda Lambert, Willie’s sons Lukas and Micah, Chris Stapleton, Snoop Dogg and many, many more.
Sturgill kicked off his performance with some of his signature commentary, always sure to garner a ton of laughs and applause:
“There’s only one reason I’m not on a beach in South Asia right now and because it’s Willie Nelson’s birthday.”
And then went on to offer some heartfelt praise for the country music legend and pioneer:
“I’m gonna take a minute to say something that I’ve never had the courage to say to his face, and that is that there is only one reason that I ever went to Nashville to make country records and that’s because I grew up listening to country records made by Willie Nelson.
And I wanted to make country records that were outside of the box of what most people think country records can be. I only signed a record deal with Atlantic Records because Willie Nelson made those records on Atlantic. That didn’t work out too good for me, but everything else did thanks to you guys.
I’m gonna sing a song written by a guy named Steve Fromholz that Willie recorded, and this is one of those songs that always resonated so strong with me, I feel like I could’ve written it, it pertained to my life so much.”
He went on to perform “I’d Have To Be Crazy,” which was recorded by Willie for his 1976 record, The Sound In Your Mind.
Sturgill also recorded the song for his debut solo album, High Top Mountain.