Best of 2014: Sturgill Simpson - "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music"

The phrase "turtles all the way down" is impossible to parse? Really, Peter?

That said - nice piece. I love this record, and have since someone posted the TATWD vid on my facebook page when it was released. Cheers!


(1)  Good article, Zeit.  'Metamodern' finished outside my own Top 10 this year (just barely...#11), but I understand why it finished at #1 in the ND Readers Poll, and apparently at #2 in the upcoming Critics Poll.


(2)  Also, thanks to Larry for his comment here shedding light on the "turtles all the way down" reference, which I had also puzzled over.  I guess I missed that lecture in college!


(3)  Finally, I seem to have missed the deadline for the Readers Poll this year, so just for the helluvit here is my own Top 20 Albums of 2014 list:

Garry's "Lost Music Saloon" 2014 Album Faves:
Old 97's : Most Messed Up
Johnny Cash: Out Among the Stars
Chuck Prophet: Night Surfer
Ryan Adams: Ryan Adams
Lydia Loveless: Somewhere Else
Lucinda Williams: Down To Where the Spirit Meets the Bone
Shovels & Rope: Swimmin' Time
Parker Millsap: Parker Millsap
Angaleena Presley: American Middle Class
Andy Vaughn & the Driveline: Sinners & Saints

Sturgill Simpson: Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
Backsliders: Raleighwood EP
Nikki Lane: All or Nothin'
Drive-By Truckers: English Oceans
Old Crow Medicine Show: Remedy
Zoe Muth: World Of Strangers 
Cory Branan: The No-Hit Wonder
Billy Joe Shaver: Long In The Tooth
Lucero: Live From Atlanta
Sid Griffin: The Trick Is To Breathe



It's a great article Peter about a great artist...thanks for shedding some light on Sturgill's history by the way...I like what he's doing now so much that I didn't much care about his history, till I saw him live a couple of weeks ago, and then I went, "no way has this guy not been doing this a long time, he's too damn good"...I was going to delve into that, and thanks for providing context on where he's been and what he was doing while he was getting here..your analysis of "The Promise" is spot oldest daughter is about his age...I heard the original several times when she was a kid, and I now I can't imagine that song any way but the way he does it...I had no recognition at all...neither did my daughter when I played his version for her...

Having a killer band that actually plays on his records doesn't hurt anything either...they seem to be woven into the context of what he does, and Dave Cobb should be immortalized based on this record and Southeastern alone...

Thanks again Peter for a great article.  


Great read and kudos for mentioning Shake Russell and Dana Cooper.  At the risk of repeating myself, when I saw Sturgill open for Jason Isbell the men, not the women, were yelling "Sturgill Simpson" before, after, and during the songs. Sturgill must emit the same phermone that drives the Chris Knight and Robert Earl Keen male fans crazy (which is not a commentary on his, or their, music). 

Hal...I did notice the enraptured male frat youth and Duck Dynasty 20 somethings near the stage...everyone had a beard it seemed but me, and there was a sort of primal clog stomp dance going on at times when the band really cranked it up, and it was a bit a matter of fact, I was right down there with them...I think I was feeling a bit of what they were, but at 60, if I'm experiencing phermone or anything else like that, I'm probably not lettin' anyone in on that, I got a job I wanna keep after all ...the phenomenon you describe was present in Indianapolis, though I'm guessing not quite to the degree you experienced it...dudes dig him for sure...there were plenty of women there too, but it was likely 3-1 men...and yes, a segment of them were quite vocal in their appreciation.

I've seen Robert Earl Keen, and I know what you are talking about...we had some of that, but not all of that...     

I've seen Chris Knight tell someone in the audience to "shut up and listen". Keen is always a little more restrained but at maybe the last show I saw he said as his fans chanted his full name (parpahrased from a foggy memory) "Hey, I wrote my name on my underwear tonight. I know who I am". I wish Sturgill the best in balancing his  "adoring" fan base.

Strand of Oaks, HEAL belongs on any "Best of..." list in 2014.

Please tell me what a "reactionary synthesist" is.  Thanks,