Like many people in the United States and the rest of the world, Sturgill Simpson contracted the novel coronavirus. He talks of his experience battling the disease.
Simpson got the disease earlier than most, while on tour in January and February in Europe.
“Then came back to do arena shows in the US starting in late February,” Simpson said in an email to fans. “We had barely gotten into the tour when I knew something didn’t feel right.”
While most people suffer from minor symptoms, Simpson said it devastated his body. His symptoms landed him in the emergency room after a show in Charleston in March.
“I felt extremely winded and fatigued, out of shape even…certain notes weren’t coming as easy as they should have. I couldn’t make sense of it, as I had lost a ton of weight in recent months in preparations for the tour and was living cleaner than ever. I was completely leveled physically, so we canceled a string of shows that weekend starting in Hampton, West Virginia, and I went home. The next morning I was in the ER with pre-stroke blood pressure levels, feeling like I had an invisible ratchet strap cranking down around my chest.”
He adds that it was the break that he needed. It was a breather that he would never allow himself to have. He went home to south Tennessee, where he would quarantine for weeks. Any Sturgill fan knows he’s not one for social media. Due to the situation, his drummer finally set one up for him.
Sturgill Simpson Apparel for COVID
On one boring day in quarantine, he recalls making a random post while “in character as a backwoods badass named “D*** Daddy” running a fictitious survival school looking for new recruits.”
To put it simply, people liked the name. He decided to make 30,000 t-shirts with the slogan on it and give the money to the fight against the disease that affected him. The response was overwhelming. So, in an effort to raise more money, he gave his fans a challenge.
“I told my fans that if they hit a certain number by a deadline, I would put on a livestream concert, and if we reached a second goal, I’d put a record out this year. Well, they blew those goals completely out of the water, so really it was the fans made this album happen.”