Sturgill Simpson
Artist

Sturgill Simpson

link icon

Link copied

Country music singer/songwriter Sturgill Simpson grew up in Kentucky before trying his luck at Nashville.

The budding singer/songwriter relocated to Music City in the early aughts, but he couldn't figure out how to break into the scene there. Instead, he retreated to a full-time job working for Union Pacific Railroad and playing music on the side.

But music was never meant to be Simpson's hobby. In 2012, he tried Nashville once again, this time raising money to record his debut album, 2013's High Top Mountain. It was produced by Dave Cobb and showed off Simpson's low country twang and traditional approach to the genre.

He worked with Cobb once again on 2014's Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, an album that quickly began garnering critical attention for the way it took traditional country and updated the stories it told. Simpson earned a Grammy nomination for Best Americana Album.

Yet, it would take one more release for Simpson to win a Grammy. His third album, 2016's A Sailor's Guide to Earth, won the award for Best Country Album and was nominated for Album of the Year. The album, written to Simpson's young son, is a guide of sorts about the best way to live and was recorded live with Simpson taking over producing duties from Cobb.

With three critically successfully country albums under his belt, Simpson began switching it up. 2018's Sound & Fury drew more on rock 'n' roll, while 2020's double album Cuttin' Grass, Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 explored the bluegrass genre. In 2021, Simpson released the narrative-heavy album The Ballad of Dood and Juanita.

Beyond playing music, Simpson has a growing film career. Besides contributing the title song to Jim Jarmusch's indie zombie film The Dead Don't Die, Simpson also appears in the film. He also played a police officer in Queen & Slim, and is set to appear in Martin Scorsese's film Killers of the Flower Moon.

  • Full name: John Sturgill Simpson
  • Born: June 8, 1978
  • Hometown: Jackson, Kentucky
  • Genre: Country, Bluegrass, Americana
Sturgill Simpson - The Ballad of Dood & Juanita Album Cover
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWSturgill Simpson - The Ballad of Dood and Juanita

By Helen M Jerome, August 23, 2021

In The Ballad of Dood and Juanita, Sturgill Simpson has created something extraordinary.

Holler Country Music
reviews

ALBUM REVIEWSturgill Simpson - Cuttin' Grass Vol.1

By Ross Jones, December 18, 2020

It should come as little surprise that Sturgill Simpson would stick to his word in one day providing us with a long-anticipated bluegrass album.

Holler Country Music
lists

ESSENTIALSThe Best Halloween Country Songs

By Jof Owen, October 26, 2021

Get the apples bobbing, stick a bowl of candy by the door and sit back to enjoy some of country music’s spookiest moments with Holler’s guide to the best Halloween Country songs.

Merlefest 2021 by Amanda Wicks
reviews

LIVE REVIEWReview: Merlefest 2021

By Amanda Wicks, September 21, 2021

The beloved festival — which boasts attendees who show up not just year after year, but decade after decade - underlines what it has grown to encompass since its earlier bluegrass days; you might even venture to call it “traditional plus plus”.

Think I'll Just Stay Here and Meme
feature

INTERVIEWWho The F*** is Think I'll Just Stay Here and Meme?

By Matt Wickstrom, August 3, 2021

Electrician by day, meme king by night. That’s the Clark Kent / Superman dynamic portrayed by Jonathan Oost, a lifelong native of Owensboro, Kentucky and the brains behind Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Meme.

Holler Country Music
lists

GUIDEA Guide To: The Best CMA Awards Moments

By Jof Owen, November 9, 2021

Awards ceremonies are notoriously juicy affairs. We take a look back at 10 of the most unforgettable CMA Awards moments.

Sturgill Simpson
lists

GUIDEA Guide To: 10 Artists to See at MerleFest

By Amanda Wicks, September 15, 2021

Let that fluttery festival feeling build and look over the 10 artists we’re most excited to see when MerleFest returns to North Carolina on September 16th 2021.

Sturgill Simpson
lists

ESSENTIALSThe Best Sturgill Simpson Songs

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

As much at odds with the genre as he was in thrall of it, Sturgill Simpson was always destined to be one such cowboy; refusing to play by the rules or suck up to the establishment.

Holler Country Music
reviews

COUNTRY CLASSICSWaylon Jennings - Honky Tonk Heroes

By Jof Owen, December 18, 2020

Honky Tonk Heroes ended up being the first real outlaw-country record, and to many it remains Waylon Jennings' finest moment.

Holler Country Music
lists

ESSENTIALSHoller's Records of the Year 2020

By Holler , December 18, 2020

In a year of deep tragedy and anxiety, the 20 records here have offered deep empathy, comfort and empowerment to carry us through.

Holler Country Music
news

Brandi Carlile Wins Artist of the Year at the 2021 Americana Awards

By Holler , September 23, 2021

Check out the full list of winners, which include Sturgill Simpson, Charley Crockett, John Prine and more.

Artist - David Ferguson
feature

INTERVIEWCuts The Deepest: David Ferguson

By Helen M Jerome, September 24, 2021

Fans of quality roots music may know the name David Ferguson from all the artists he’s worked with; engineering and producing classic and Grammy-winning records, including Sturgill Simpson’s ground-breaking A Sailor’s Guide To Earth. Now, that’s about to change.

Sturgill Simpson
news

Sturgill Simpson Announces New Album 'The Ballad of Dood and Juanita'

By Holler , July 21, 2021

The concept album marks the singer/songwriter's third release in 12 months.

Holler Country Music
lists

ESSENTIALSRecords of The Year - People's Choice

By Holler , December 30, 2020

So, you've seen our top picks for the best records of 2020, but what do the people think?

Holler Country Music
reviews

STAFF PICKSSturgill Simpson - Cuttin' Grass - Vol.2 (The Cowboy Arms Sessions)

By Helen M Jerome, December 18, 2020

Just knowing this is a Sturgill Simpson album is enough for most, but there's the added bonus that's he creatively let himself off the leash.

Holler Country Music
news

Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson Cast In New Martin Scorsese Film

By Zoe Hodges, April 7, 2021

The pair will star alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in the adaptation of David Grann’s nonfiction best-seller.