With the release of his fifth studio album, Dood & Juanita, Sturgill Simpson says he’s done with solo work. However, that doesn’t include live shows. The country music artist is finally back out on the road after the pandemic ended his 2020 tour with Tyler Childers. With new music, he played for the crowd at Willie Nelson’s Outlawfest.
Now, watch as he plays Shamrock from his latest album and transitions into his classic The Storm. Sturgill is never afraid to adapt his music to a bluegrass sound if needed. It just comes naturally to the Kentucky native. Watch the video below.
Seriously, this just looks like a wonderful show. It seems a bit intimate and with that bluegrass band behind him, Sturgill Simpson looks like he is having a good time. His new album is definitely a new direction from prior projects. A lot of his music tells a story throughout, however, this album is like a historical fiction told through the picking, plucking, and galloping rhythms of each song.
Shamrock tells the story of the main character, Dood, and his mule Shamrock. As a mammoth jack mixed with a thoroughbred mare as the song say, that would be a large beast. While Sturgill sings the song it gives a depiction of a mythical creature. “Only had one rider, anyone else was gettin’ bucked…Make a coyote fly so far it wouldn’t land ’til next year.” There are so many great lines throughout.
Then, the transition into The Storm is just unreal. His 2013 album, High Top Mountain featured a number of songs that are considered classics now. While playing, the fast-paced, banjo-heavy rendition got the crowd hollering and cheering like crazy. Also, he hasn’t even started his own Dood & Juanita tour, yet. Get ready.
Sturgill Simpson Slows Things Down
Sturgill Simpson has made it clear he would like to slow things down. After the release of Dood & Juanita, there is no telling where his career might go next. He has talked about wanting to work more on the producing side of things. His work in the past with Kacey Musgraves, Tyler Childers, and others speaks for itself. So, even if there is no solo Sturgill, his influence will be around.
One of the great songs on the album is, of course, Juanita. It is a love song with a small Spanish influence in the music. For those that aren’t from Kentucky or Tennessee, the joke might go over your head. However, those who know, know that there is an unusually large number of Juanitas in the area with no Spanish heritage to be found. In fact, I’ve got a grandma named Bonita and her sister is Juanita.
“Juanita, where’d your mama get that name/There’s no senoritas from the mountains where you came,” Simpson sings out with his Jackson, Kentucky drawl. Just a beautiful song.