Bonnaroo Band of the Day: Sturgill Simpson


Bonnaroo Artist |  Sturgill Simpson
Bonnaroo History | Newbie
Stage & Time | Sunday | That Tent | 4:30-5:30pm


As we’ve been doing for the past several years now, we’re making it our mission to help you get acquainted with as many bands as we can from Bonnaroo‘s impressive 2015 lineup.  We’ll start from the bottom and work our way up, paying special attention to the smaller and lesser known acts on this year’s bill. Keep reading for your Bonnaroo Band of the Day


While our name might suggest otherwise, we couldn’t be bigger fans of the new crop of revivalist and alternative country acts that have been gaining momentum in Nashville (Caitlin Rose, Rayland Baxter, Margo Price, Jonny Fritz), and, especially with his unprecedented past year of success,  no one currently carries this torch more importantly than Sturgill Simpson. Born and raised in Kentucky, Simpson got his start more than a decade ago, performing as part of bluegrass band Sunday Valley. Though they achieved some success, the singer put his career on pause for a few years, taking a job at a freight-shipping yard in Salt Lake City. An itch to perform would lead him to open mics and solo shows, before briefly returning to Sunday Valley for a final album. Sturgill and his wife relocated to Nashville in 2010, and, after finally opting to go solo, the rest is history.

Simpson self-funded and self-released his debut, High Top Mountain, in 2013, enlisting producer Dave Cobb to help capture a more traditionalist country aesthetic, quickly garnering comparisons to Waylon Jennings. Not only beloved by the country crowd, but able to cross over to broader appeal through his traditional, personal, unrelenting, and damn good knack for songwriting, Sturgill’s sound is the opposite of what the mainstream country scene has become; a breath of fresh air amidst a genre that has largely lost its way. Last year’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music propelled the singer to new heights, earning spots on countless end of year lists, proving commercially and critically successful, and enabling Sturgill to perform on the late night TV and live festival circuit. More alternative country than his debut, Metamodern is a much more expansive release, and incorporates broader philosophical and more complicated themes. There’s no doubt that Sturgill Simpson is having a huge year, and the prominent billing for his Bonnaroo debut is well-deserved; be sure to support Nashville’s latest local success story.

LISTEN | “Turtles All the Way Down”

WATCH | “Railroad of Sin” (Official Music Video)


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