NEWS: Sturgill Simpson @ Sage Gateshead | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Sturgill Simpson by Reto Sterchi

With Daniel Meade & The Flying Mules in tow, Sturgill Simpson’s subversive Americana will almost certainly provide you with a rather unique experience when they drop by Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 12th July.

To Sturgill Simpson, country music is mere putty in his hands, and he’s thoroughly unafraid to turn it inside out and create music that is scrubbed free of convention or cliché. Indeed, the sound of recent LP A Sailor’s Guide To Earth is one that serves as definitive evidence of Simpson’s radical deconstruction of the genre; he’s witty and cunning, but he’s also got a phenomenal ear for sound.

Although he may be Kentucky-born and in possession of a majestically graceful Southern-inflected singing voice, Simpson is anything but a traditionalist; Sailor’s Guide includes a cover of Nirvana’s In Bloom that is truly astounding, acting as the purest showcase for Sturgill’s subversive innovation, turning quintessential Cobainian sludge into a soundscape of bare bones strings and acoustic harmonies.

This cover, just like all of his music, succeeds because it refuses to abide by the belief that you should follow tradition; the only thing that truly remains intact from the original song is the lyrics, whilst the rest is pure, quintessential Simpson. His songs range from deeply atmospheric meditations on existentialism through to witty ramblings about DMT. An essential gig.

Sturgill Simpson and Daniel Meade & The Flying Mules play Sage Gateshead on Tuesday 12th July.

 

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