The way “Exile On Main Street” is a great “rock” record, Sturgill Simpson‘s 2016 release, “A Sailor’s Guide to the Earth” is a great “country” album. It’s country because Simpson is the man behind the music, but it is so much more than that. It’s a wonderful blend of classic R&B, horn-drenched soul, rollicking rock and 90’s grunge (via a crazy cool countrified cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” that will stick to your ribs.) The record emerged from Simpson’s need to process the guilt and homesickness of being on tour and missing his newborn son. He “decided to write the whole record from the perspective of a sailor going to sea and not knowing if he’s ever coming home.”
In the midst of an extensive North American tour, Simpson and his band, which includes a 3-piece horn section, will be playing a relatively intimate evening at the State Theater of Ithaca this Thursday night. There are limited seats still available, but don’t sleep on these as it will likely sell out. Tickets are $27.50 – $37.50 and are available online or at the box office. The show will begin at 8pm with no opener.