Simpson’s Holler – Halloween video from Valerie Smith

One thing that has been decidedly lacking in bluegrass music is creature songs. We have our share of scary songs, but they tend to be ghost-related, by and large. Those of us of a certain age remember those Saturday morning movies with The Creature From The Black Lagoon, or The Wolfman, that kept us up nights checking under the bed when we were little. Is there room in Mr. Monroe’ music for a bit of that?

Here in the Halloween season, it seems appropriate that Valerie Smith has brought a song forward from her Turtle Wings album back in 2000 for a spooky video treatment.

It’s for Simpson’s Holler, a legit creature number about an unnamed, monster-in-the-woods character of local legend. We never learn for sure who he is, or how he got there, but know that 13 men went in looking for him with 13 dogs, none of whom ever returned.


The video was filmed by Val’s 16 year old daughter, Josie. Musicians on the track include Andy Leftwich on mandolin, Travis Alltop on guitar, Allen Watkins on banjo, and Shelia Wingate on bass. Turtle Wings was produced by Alan O’Bryant.

Simpson’s Holler was written by Larry McNeely, Jack Skinner, and Geoff Levin.

The album is available wherever you stream or download music online, and to radio programmers via AirPlay Direct.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.