Los Angeles is many things. A haven for country music is not one of them. Historically much of the city has looked derisively upon the genres offering it up to the yokels who live *gulp* EAST of the city. In reality country does have, and always has had diamonds to offer up, but it’s association with the commercial product of pop-country (pop music also suffers from this) often tarnishes even the best of country albums. That consistent negative outlook is part of what makes this show so special.
Sturgill Simpson one of the best living American songwriters right now, you could add country as a qualifier, but honestly that’d be a disservice, especially since so many good country artists are also incredible storytellers. Both he and Jason Isbell exist in a rarified air of critical acclaim without the baggage of a genre that sometimes seems a bit stuck in the old tropes of masculinity and Southern living.
But that’s enough about LA’s collective gripes with country music. Simpson leapt into the critical eye with his 2013 debut High Top Mountain but it was 2014’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music a strange, twisting record that inverted classic country tropes into something that was at turns recognizable and entirely fresh, often within the same track. His follow up, and latest, release to date A Sailor’s Guide to Earth continued where Metamodern Sounds left off, but this time added a throughline of narrative. This culminated in something that was not only the runaway best country album of the year but went toe to toe with the big boys, in a year that included modern classics like Lemonade, Blonde, and A Seat at the Table. Don’t believe me? Just take a listen to his track “Turtles All The Way Down” and experience the brilliance firsthand.
Simpson is bringing his off kilter brand of country music to the legendary Troubadour this coming Sunday, and this time he’s doing it for a cause that goes beyond expanding your musical consciousness. The slightly pricey $75 ticket goes towards the Special Forces Foundation, (formerly the Green Beret Association) a group that carries out “programs [that] contribute to the maintenance of the mind and body, and provide acute and ongoing support in resolving, psychological, emotional and relationship issues before they become chronic.” In short the organization helps soldiers, particularly special forces soldiers who are often in the most dire of circumstances for extended periods of time, acclimate to civilian life. On top of that, the show will be promoting the Simpson’s upcoming album (and accompanying Anime film) Sound & Fury which releases this Friday, September 27th, and features his new song “Sing Along.”
Tickets go on sale today 9/25 and are likely to sell out quickly. So snatch one up before they’re gone and get ready to have your mind blown while donating your money to a worthy cause. There aren’t too many deals that are better than that.
Location: The Troubadour
Address: 9081 Santa Monica Blvd West Hollywood, CA 90069
Photo Credit: Sharon Alagna