Surprise, surprise, surprise…!
Sturgill Simpson has released the second volume of his classic cuts recorded grasswise with an all-star cast of Nashville super-pickers. Cuttin’ Grass Vol 2 – The Cowboy Arms Sessions, features another 12 tracks of Simpson originals, most of them previously recorded either by himself or with Sunday Valley, plus a couple of new songs never before released, including one written with the late Merle Haggard.
He had hoped to keep both of these Cuttin’ Grass projects quiet until they released, but news slipped out just before Vol. 1 hit in October. This one does seem to have caught the music press sleeping, so score one for Mr. Simpson.
Sturgill used the same session players this time around, but says that these songs cut a little closer to the bone.
“On Volume 2, we recorded everything I was too afraid to do on Volume 1. It’s hard to deny that this is a much more personal record. I was thinking about my kids, my grandfather, my wife.”
Performing with Simpson are Sierra Hull on mandolin, Mike Bub on bass, Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Scott Vestal on banjo, Tim O’Brien on guitar and harmony vocals, Mark Howard on lead guitar and vocals, and Miles Miller on percussion and vocals.
For long time fans, these new versions make be a bit jarring, but bluegrass fans should warm to it right away. The album still has the rebellious spirit and barely-controlled singing that have become trademarks of Sturgill Simpson’s sound, but with an unmistakable bluegrass imprint.
Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 2 – The Cowboy Arms Sessions is available now wherever you stream or download music online. Vinyl and CD copies can be pre-ordered directly from the artist, with delivery expected in April.