Sturgill Simpson got pegged as an outlaw country artist, but proved to be such an that outlaw he won’t accept that label, or any other. Born June 8, 1978 in Jackson, Kentucky, he moved to Oregon in his late teens and served three years in the United States Navy. After the end of his bluegrass band Sunday Valley, he moved to Nashville and in 2013 recorded his first solo album, High Top Mountain. A collection of original honky-tonk anthems that made Simpson sound like the heir apparent to Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, it peaked at number 31 on the Billboard Country Music Chart. His second album 2014’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, was a trippy take on traditional country, an approach made explicit on the album’s debut single, the philosophically minded “Turtles (All the Way Down)”. The LP reached number 8 on the Country Chart and earned him his a Grammy Award nomination for Best Americana Album. He signaled his sonic ambitions with 2016’s A Sailor’s Guide to Earth. A song cycle about becoming a father, Simpson utilized R&B horns, did a countrified cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom”, and worked up a raucous anti-military anthem with “Call to Arms”. He was rewarded with a Grammy nomination for Album of the Year. Never one to repeat himself, Simpson’s 2019 LP, Sound & Fury, was steeped in sleazy 70s boogie rock, blues, and metal, and it was released with an anime film that used the album as a soundtrack. After surviving the Covid-19 virus in 2020, Simpson hired some of the best bluegrass session players in the world and put out Cuttin’ Grass, Vol 1: The Butcher Shoppe Sessions, which offered traditionalist bluegrass renditions of 20 songs from throughout Simpson’s catalogue, some reaching all the way back to his days in Sunday Valley. Released two months later, Cuttin' Grass, Vol 2: The Cowboy Arms Sessions continued the experiment featuring many songs from A Sailor's Guide to Earth as well as some earlier compositions.