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The Lounge>Red Dirt Juke Box
Iowanian 04:41 PM 01-13-2015
In several discussions about music, several posters bring in Red Dirt Music to the conversation.

In this thread, I'd like to do things a little different to help people learn about our favorite artists, and post a couple of youtube videos of their song and your personal favorite playlist of that artist.
Feel free to include your own contributions, but follow the format. Videos of live performances, and list a few of your favorite songs.

I've met a few of these guys and have had beers with some of them, so I'll share stories and nuggets that they've told me. It's fine if you have a different take of the same artists or offer a different playlist.

Happy listening.
Easy 6 09:36 PM 01-16-2015
Reeeally liking the Turnpike Troubadors, when I hear banjo and fiddle together its the truth... they're playing modern melodies with old fashioned instruments, thats what I'm talking about.
RainMaker 09:42 PM 01-16-2015
Thank you Iowanian. I've never heard of any of these singers and, from the songs that I have heard, it seems that I've been missing out. I've never heard of these guys on any radio station around here and that's a downright shame.

Mil gracias!

p.s. That Sturgill Simpson is incredible!
Easy 6 09:48 PM 01-16-2015
Holy shit, oh yeah... that Sturgil Simpson mfer is the REAL deal as well, talk about real country... these new pukes like Aldean and Chesney couldnt hold a candle to him.

That guy is the white Muddy Waters, such a powerful and authentic voice... wow.
Buehler445 05:07 PM 01-17-2015
Cory Morrow has some pretty respectable music out there. His beat is not really very country, but I really like his stuff.

Probably my favorite song of his....

Another good one.

lewdog 09:13 PM 01-17-2015
I've have Diamonds and Gasoline album on repeat off youtube anytime I'm on the computer. Not a bad tune on there and just great sound. I love Long Hot Summer Day.
Hog's Gone Fishin 12:38 PM 01-18-2015
One of my favorite movies of all time. the music is wonderful.

RainMaker 11:12 PM 01-18-2015
Late 80s there was a song called, "The Promise" by When in Rome. Sturgill makes the song his.

"This is where the link would have gone" - Sorry. I don't post here enough, but please take a look for it yourselves.

Thanks again guys for introducing me to some incredible singers.
Iowanian 05:02 PM 01-19-2015
Here it is for the new guy.

The Promise

Iowanian 09:16 AM 01-22-2015
Here's another article on Sturgil Simpson with an interview.
It's always interesting to read his takes because it's apparent that he likes to write songs and play for people, but doesn't seem to like the industry....or a lot of the people he plays for.

w years ago, Kentucky native Sturgill Simpson was working as a conductor in Utah, switching out intermodal trains in a small switching yard. He soon took a management position, and after about a year-and-a-half of long hours and high stress in a job that was ultimately making him unhappy, Simpson, urged on by his wife, moved back to Nashville — where he'd lived for a time in the mid-Aughts — and resumed his music career. Simpson's wife had the right idea. Over the past year, Simpson released his sophomore solo effort, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, which has since been nominated for an Americana Album of the Year Grammy. He's played The Tonight Show, The Late Show and Conan, won the Emerging Artist of the Year trophy at the Americana Awards and Honors Show and topped the Scene's Country Music Critics' Poll, earning the No. 1 Album, No. 1 Male Vocalist, No. 1 Songwriter and No. 2 Artist of the Year spots.

"That's funny, man," Simpson says when asked about the success of Metamodern Sounds, going on to explain that he really thought the self-released album might flop. "I thought it would be the end." Not long ago, Simpson was working the register at The Turnip Truck, a Nashville grocery store. He says he's surprised and humbled by the critical acclaim his record has received — it's compounded the surreal nature of a year in which he and his wife welcomed the birth of their first child, the true high point of his year. On Dec. 30, Simpson opened for his "all-time hero" Willie Nelson at a concert in Austin. "That was a beautiful end to a very wonderful year, to say the least."

On a recent rainy Monday morning, the Scene sat down with Simpson at Big Al's Deli, a small breakfast-and-lunch spot north of Germantown. The singer is characteristically soft-spoken and taciturn as he reflects on sudden fame and a life-changing year he never could've anticipated. "It's a good problem to have," he says. But Simpson isn't as direct when asked about releasing Metamodern's follow-up. "[You] can't plan these things," he says. But he is planning. Days after this interview, news surfaced that he'd signed a major label deal with Atlantic Records.

The critical acclaim for Metamodern Sounds has been pretty overwhelming. How do you react to that? What can you do?

I try not to think about it very much. It's hard, but I've definitely found it's best to just maintain radio silence from that shit.

Do you think there's kind of a reaction from people getting tired of the bro-country thing, of what they've been hearing for years, and going back to the more traditional style of country music?

Man, that's a thesis-worthy question. I mean, I just don't know how much I have left to offer there anymore, to be honest with you. It's a conversation that I find to be more of a distraction than anything. There's been some people from that crowd that have been very kind, who have reached out, and that's been a little surprising. I'm not sitting in meetings or anything, or going on radio tours, so I'm thankful for that as well. I'm not sure how much of that world I would function well within.

Well, you've played some dates with Zac Brown Band, right? Though I've always thought of him as more Southern rock than country.

In a way. Live, certainly. Yeah. He was the only one that was really like, "Hey man, do you wanna come play some shows?" He gave me an opportunity, and they paid us a really respectful salary, and they were all cool as hell.

Did his audience seem to pick up on you guys, like you and respond well?

Well, yeah. It was always a pretty consistent reaction throughout the 40-minute set night by night of how it would pan out. By the end we'd usually have them. At the beginning you're just cannon fodder, man.

Where was your head at when you were putting Metamodern Sounds together?

All over the place. Man, that's been the weirdest part, reading other people's [analysis of it]. I don't know. Who knows? [My head's] not there anymore; I'm ready to make the next one.

When you're writing, do you incorporate what you're reading or whatever conversations you're having on a daily basis?

Yeah, everything around you. ... Just conversations and books that I read 15 years ago, and books that I just read last year. ["Turtles All the Way Down"] is a weird one. I wrote it in the shower in a hotel room, somewhere on the road, and I came outside while we were loading gear in the van. I kind of sang it to the guys, and they all looked at me like I was crazy. Then I sang it for [producer] Dave Cobb, and he was like, "Oh, fuck yeah! Here we go."

On the road it's always just you and the same three dudes; you don't really have any guests or anything like that?

No. I've found that I'm not very much of a fan of collaboration. It gives me anxiety. I don't find it very inspiring the few times I have tried.

Does it feel a little forced?

Yeah, usually.

Just more comfortable in your own comfort zone where you can throw ideas out? That sort of thing?

Yeah. Where I can suck in the privacy of my own home.

I want to ask you about doing that When in Rome song, "The Promise." What made you think to do that?

I'd always sit around the house a lot and play old '80s tunes bluegrass-style, just kind of fleshing out the melody. I wanted to cut it like that and play it for Dave. I guess when I played it, I played it slow like that just to show him the chord structure, and he was like, "yeah," and so we just went out and banged it out in, I don't know, the second or third take. We were moving really quick when we were doing that record, so there wasn't time for a lot of second-guessing.

Is that Dave's way of doing stuff?

No, we just didn't have the money. We were using my band, and he just did it for free, basically. It was a decision we made before we started, you know, to just make decisions and move on.

Do you think you work better that way?

For whatever reason it worked better in that moment, with that man and those songs. I don't know, it might not work the next time, but you try different things. [My debut album High Top Mountain was] the same way. That was basically cut live, but in two separate weeks of sessions. It was like four or five songs, and then six songs the next week. That was all pretty much live. ... I just like minimal-sounding records anyway, so I don't think I'd ever spend eight months working on an album or something, trying to find the perfect mood for it.

I want to ask you about Conan, when people seemed to react to you saying "goddamn," and you responded on Facebook.

Yeah, sure. It's frustrating. It's surprising, but unfortunately I made the mistake and I broke an [unwritten] rule. I guess [when I posted a Facebook response to people taking issue with "goddamn"] what I was trying to say was, "This isn't really a big deal." But if it is, then I've just gotta express that somewhere else. I've realized now that things become clickbait. We sit down, we do a lot of these, we talk for an hour and then one question, one-half of one sentence turns into the headline. There's a lot of things I expected, and some I didn't. It's been fun and amusing at times.

Did you delete your Twitter account? Was it too overwhelming?

I wasn't very good at it. I wasn't really using it. Shit gave me anxiety more often than not. I'd go to tweet something and just think, "Well, who the fuck cares? What am I doing here? Why am I not writing a song or changing a diaper right now?" I did meet some friends on there that I wouldn't have met otherwise, though. It's invaluable as a news feed, but I've even found a lot of that I shouldn't have within my conscience.

So how much progress have you made on this new record?

We're still in the writing process. It's going to be fun.

You said your head is not in the same place for this one as the last one?

Yeah. I'm ready to have some new songs to sing; let's just put it that way. ... You know, you always just want to keep moving forward with anything, I think. If nothing else, for my own sanity. That's the hardest part for me. The mechanical side of this business, or industry, or whatever you want to call it, it moves a lot slower than the creative process. Hell, there's still 200 towns we haven't played in the U.S. that haven't heard these songs that we could still go tour. You know, how do you know when one cycle ends and the next one begins? It doesn't matter.

It seems like one thing people connect to with your stuff—

People who love this record may hate the next one. You never know! Flavor of the month! ... We just had fun [making the record], man. We went in and had fun for four days. It's weird, 'cause I get associated with a lot of things, and there's this one line on the record in particular that's been analyzed more than anything I think, and even when I wrote it, some of the stuff, you know, is about things I saw or felt 10 years ago. So it's been really interesting. I'm just grateful.

You've played the Ryman; does it feel different than other venues?

It's inspiring. ... You never get comfortable, but I'm glad we had the experience to get [the Americana Awards and Honors, a Prairie Home Companion performance and an Opry performance] under our belt before the [Jason] Isbell show. You know, just walking out there and being faced with the reality of the gallery.

Were you ever a rock-show kind of guy?

Oh yeah, man. Absolutely. I still and have always listened to everything. I saw a lot of Tool shows in Seattle back in the late '90s. I think my favorite show I ever saw was Queens of the Stone Age at Bogart's up in Cincinnati in 2003 maybe, right when the Rated R record came out. I remember buying their first one when I lived in Seattle, just because of the cover, thinking, "I don't even give a shit what's on this — this is awesome." My girlfriend at the time, she was like [with Valley Girl accent], "This band sucks." She was from the Valley. And I was like, "Whatever man, these guys are going to be huge." ... I go to clubs [now], and if I see anything bigger than a Princeton Reverb I know I'm not going to be around very long. Maybe it's a decibel thing; I probably have tinnitus. ...

Back when you worked on the rail yard — talk about a job with high stakes.

It was another one of those situations like, "How did somebody put me in the seat of making decisions about this?" It was a good life, I just wasn't happy. And [my wife] kind of pushed me to give this a shot, and I'm glad I did. We'll see. When it's all said and done, man, I may be back out on the rail yard. There's a lot of aspects of this that, even at 36, 37 years old, I'm not sure that maybe a lot of it's for me, to be honest with you. But I enjoy it. I'm just very grateful that I get to make records and play for people.

What elements of it aren't for you?

I'm still figuring a lot of that out. Being away from family is tough. But [otherwise] it'd be sitting on the couch, wishing you had a gig. It's providing for my family. The adulation from some of the people who get an idea about you — at the end of the day, it's about the songs, but sometimes it starts to feel like it's about you. It's really off target. That can get weird.

People have an idea of you?

A misrepresentation of who or what they think you are just because you wrote this character or something.

Like the line in "Turtles All the Way Down" about LSD and everything. People might think you're just tripping every day?

Just sitting home, dropping acid every day. Yeah, totally. It's like, "Well, no." I never even did DMT, man. That was from just reading the books. [Rick] Strassman and those guys did studies, and a buddy of mine told me about it. It's funny. People just assume. I'm definitely the "acid-country" guy. The handshakes that last a little too long and people trying to send you to prison for 20 years at the shows. It's like, "Let me get the fuck out of here." To me, the whole thing is about love, and trying to find something — whatever it may be — that makes everybody want to wake up in the day and be a better human being. And ["Turtles"] is kind of a representation for that. It's funny what people get hung up on. Like people with the backwards looping — "Oh, that ruined the whole thing for me." It's like, "Well, there's nine other songs on the record. Take your pick. Or don't."
Iowanian 02:50 PM 01-26-2015
For those looking for something to do, a band I enjoy will be in KC Thursday, Jan 29th at PBR Big Sky.

The John D Hale Band.

I've seen them 2-3 times and have talked with them enough to pick up a couple of tidbits. John's family raise exotic animals...zebras and things like that. I think I've seen they're from Jackson, Mo. They've always got a healthy dose of banjo.

My favorite song they do is a Lyle Lovett remake "LA County".

My advised playlist is
1. LA County
2. Heartbreaker
3. Love Pulled the Trigger
4 Muddy River
5. Harold Wilson

You can listen to some of them here.
Iowanian 07:25 AM 01-28-2015
Fyi. Thursday man 29 is a good music day in KC. Jason Eady and Aaron Watson are playing at knuckleheads.
Iowanian 04:31 PM 01-28-2015
If I could get away from work and responsibilities I would drive to KC tomorrow and offer to take a noob or two to one of the shows mentioned above, but I cannot this time.

If anyone goes to see John D Hale at PBR Big Sky or Jason Eady at Knuckleheads tomorrow night....please post and tell me what you think.
Iowanian 04:13 PM 02-04-2015
Witchita area fans.

Turnpike Troubadours....Randy Rodgers.....Wade Bowen

Feb 20th, Hartman Arena, Park City, Ks

This would be a heck of a show if you're in the area and need something to do. I've seen TT and Wade Bowen live, both do great, Randy Rodgers is very popular also.
Buehler445 05:38 PM 02-04-2015
Man, that would be a great show.
Easy 6 07:04 PM 02-04-2015
Sturgil is the real deal, Promise was great.
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