I saw Sturgill Simpson this past Wednesday at the Bowery Ballroom in Manhattan. It took me back to the Lone Star Cafe in the 1970’s when there was no such thing as getting carded to go into a bar. There aren’t many venues in NYC if you like country music, which I do well enough.
The show was pretty great though I didn’t love the guitarist but you can’t have everything. Simpsons voice is truly something else. Even though he clearly was suffering with a cold, he sounded amazing.
Here are a couple of paragraphs from his Wikipedia page that provides some insight into this very interesing character. I haven’t thought about Terrence McKenna in a long time.
In 2014, Simpson released his second album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music to positive reviews.The album’s lead single is “Living the Dream”. The record fleshes out “a deep and unconventional relationship between traditionalism and new ways of thinking,” and deviates from Simpson’s more traditional hard country debut. On that, Simpson said he focuses on his “[n]ighttime reading about theology, cosmology, and breakthroughs in modern physics and their relationship to a few personal experiences I’ve had led to most of the songs on the album. “Simpson said that: “Recording and mixing was done in five and a half days for about $4,000. I was pretty proud about that.”
On the meaning of “Metamodern”: “The metamodern idea… I read this guy… I read weird shit. This guy called Seth Abramson was talking about oscillation between naivety and our current culture’s love for nostalgia. It’s exactly what I see happening in Nashville right now.” Other influences on the record: “Dr. Rick Strassman’s book The Spirit Molecule was extremely inspirational, as were a few recent highly visionary indie films and a lot of Terrence McKenna’s audio lectures. The influences are all over the place but they culminated into a group of songs about love and the human experience, centered around the light and darkness within us all. There have been many socially conscious concept albums. I wanted to make a “social consciousness” concept album disguised as a country record.”