Sturgill Simpson hates the establishment and that's what real rock and roll is all about.
I have not seen Jesus play with flames in a lake of fire, but Sturgill Simpson makes me kind of wish I had. My mother has told me, repeatedly, that this generation’s rock and roll is not as good as her generation’s. Well, I'm loathed to disagree with my mother, particularly in a public sphere, but she's very wrong on this point. One example of how millennials rock just as hard as the baby boomers seem to believe they did is Sturgill Simpson, who will play Grandoozy for a single day.
You might think of Simpson mainly as a country singer, which is fair, but he’s also a (swear words redacted because this is a classy website) rock star.
Simpson has the most important trait a rock star can possess: he hates The Man. The Man is a mythical figure who is holding us down. This is probably true literally as well as figuratively, which is garbage because that means you have to fight The Man on two fronts. It's exhausting. Some people don't respond well to authority, they just can't help themselves, and Simpson is one of these people.
What I'm trying to say is rebellion against the establishment is the only thing rock and roll has ever been about, and Simpson is about it. In a philosophical way, though, not in a "get really drunk and trash a hotel room" way.
“I’m gonna do it now out of spite. And I’m gonna go play rock ’n’ roll, too, and take all those f**kin’ people, and I’m going to build a little army. And you’ll come to my show, and it’ll be four hours long, and it’ll be an American music show. It won’t be a country music show, Americana music show or a soul music show." - Simpson to Nashville Scene (2016)
Simpson grew up in Kentucky, joined the Navy out of high school, left after three years, bounced around doing odd jobs and battling substance abuse issues, worked on the railroad for a while then moved to Nashville to make a serious go of being a musician.
I must admit to some bias here when I sing the praises of Sturgill Simpson. His show at the Boulder Theater is the best concert I have ever been to (I was in the front row). His shows at the Paramount the same year are top 10. His show, as a headliner, lasts about two and a half hours and there's barely a break in the music. It's fantastic!
That's why you should see him, too, at Grandoozy. He only gets an opener's set, but he'll use that time to shred on the guitar and sing some good songs. Brace for Impact, Call To Arms, and Turtles All the Way Down will be worth the price of admission, I promise.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go look for the end of that long white line.
If you're interested in the FULL Grandoozy schedule, click here! We'll see you there!