Sturgill Simpson Plans Ryman Auditorium Livestream Concert (and Maybe a Bluegrass Album?)
Sturgill Simpson will spend his Friday night (June 5) in an audience-less Ryman Auditorium, performing a livestream concert as a thank you to fans for raising more than $250,000 for various charities. That's not all the singer-songwriter has up his sleeve, however.
In a now-deleted Instagram video, posted by Simpson on Monday (June 1), the artist can be seen in a studio with producer David Ferguson, Tim O'Brien, Stuart Duncan and others. The clip's caption explains that Simpson "promised you a record this year" and has decided to "tak[e] a detour from the five-album plan to cut my entire back catalog of songs for you guys the way they were written and meant to be played ... ruff, rugged n' raw" (quotes via Radio Texas Live).
In the video itself, Simpson hints that his plan for new music involves bluegrass: "Get your Zyrtec ready, 'cause we cuttin’ that grass," he says.
Fiddler Duncan will back Simpson at his Ryman Auditorium show on Friday night, along with bassist Mike Bub, mandolin player Sierra Hull, banjo player Scott Vestal, guitarist Mark Howard and percussionist Miles Miller, per an Instagram post from Simpson announcing the show. Fans will be able to watch on YouTube, Twitch and Nugs.TV.
During Simpson's show, a show poster and new T-shirt will be available on his website, to raise additional money for charity. Simpson's efforts are supporting the MusiCares COVID-19 relief fund, Equity Alliance Nashville tornado relief fund and the Special Forces Foundation.
Simpson, who personally battled the novel coronavirus earlier this year, released his newest album, Sound & Fury, in 2019. Following its release, the singer admitted that he spent $1.2 million making the record and its corresponding anime film in an effort to distance himself from his record label, Elektra Records. In an interview published in February, Simpson threatened to quit music unless the label dropped him, railing against the music industry, producer Dave Cobb and the Recording Academy, which runs the annual Grammy Awards.
Simpson was supposed to be on tour this year with Tyler Childers; however, their trek, like many others, was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Simpson has said he's ready to tour less to spend more time with his family.
10 Essential Albums for Your Country Music Education