BY: CLARE SAUSEN // On Friday, September 15 th , Sturgill Simpson will come to the legendary Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD to tour his latest album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, winner of the Grammy for Best Country Album and nominee for Album of the Year in February, 2017.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is the singer-songwriter’s third solo studio album, following 2014’s hit Metamodern Sounds in Country Music and 2013’s High Top Mountain. Simpson was originally a founding member of the bluegrass band Sunday Valley before embarking on a solo career following the band’s ending in 2012.
A Sailor’s Guide to Earth is a slight departure from his country roots, leaning more on his rock elements and even covering Nirvana’s “In Bloom.” Simpson has typically been classified as “alt-country,” incorporating psychedelic, r&b, and soul components to his bluegrass base. The album also features additions from The Dap-Kings, a Brooklyn funk and soul band. He claims that the record is a commemoration of the birth of his second son, and it is critically regarded as Simpson’s best work to date.
Simpson is an incredibly unique musician with a variety of influences, collaborators, and sounds. Even if you’re not a country fan (I certainly am not), there is a plethora of elements in Simpson’s work that any listener can enjoy. In a folding beach chair on the famous Merriweather lawn, there’s no better way to get your fill of live music on a Friday night in the District (or, you know, a quick Zipcar away).