With his newest album, Sturgill Simpson returned to his bluegrass roots. The singer dropped Cuttin Grass – Vol. 1, a bluegrass remix of his greatest hits, on Oct. 16. Simpson said the album is his “closest thing to the truth.”
In an e-mail sent to fans, Simpson discussed trying to avoid labels as a musician. In that regard, he’s mostly succeeded. His last album Sound & Fury differed greatly from his previous work. Simpson combined rock, synthetic melodies and electronic beats into an album that was hard-hitting and edgy.
“The thing I’ve realized about the ride I’ve been on these past seven years is that to me, despite what others may call and label them, all my records are simply ‘American music.’ My head and my heart go different directions all the time,” Simpson said. “And when you put out a record, it becomes this definitive thing. Like “this is who you are now” because people need to define things for the cycle of that album.”
Simpson continued, “This album for me was always just supposed to be a sort of simple mix tape for my fans. So it’s somewhat funny to me to think we might play TV shows and what not to promote it. And for a time I’ll be considered a bluegrass musician. In all honesty, though, I guess that’s probably the closest thing to the truth that could ever be put in print about me.”
Sturgill Simpson Remembered Listening to Bluegrass with His Grandfather
Simpson discussed his bluegrass roots, wishing his both of his grandfathers could experience the album. He would sit in the living room with his paternal grandfather, listening to tapes of bluegrass. At the time, Simpson said he didn’t understand the genre, but later fell in love with it as a young man.
He started playing bluegrass early in his career. For a time, he tried to track down every bluegrass record he could find.
“It sounded like home. Bluegrass music is healing. I truly believe this to be true,” Simpson said. “It is made from ancient, organic tones and, as with most all forms of music, the vibrations and the pulse can be extremely therapeutic.”