If you were thinking to yourself “Self, I sure do loveSturgill Simpson’s “Cuttin’ Grass Vol 1. The Butcher Shoppe Sessions” but wouldn’t it be great if he did another one in a few weeks?”
Well you greedy bastard you got your wish. News trickled in the socials last night that Sturgill had a new album out. Given his penchant for tomfoolery I’m hesitant to bite on early Sturgill news. But just as he did with the first Volume, Volume. 2 (Cowboy Arms Sessions) had populated across streaming platforms as a surprise, more personal release.
Simpson said in a statement about the project: “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 intimate offering. I was thinking about my kids, my grandfather, my wife.” Vol. 2 features a returning crew of celebrated bluegrass players who were also involved in Vol. 1, including mandolin player Sierra Hull, guitarist Tim O’Brien, and fiddler Stuart Duncan.
“Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 2” gives us toe-tapping version of “You Can Have The Crown” that had previously retired from his live shows performing. There’s the inclusion of “Jesus Boogie” and “Oh Sarah” from his earlier band Sunday Valley. Simpson debuts two new cuts on the record: “Tennessee” and a “Cowboy” Jack Clement tribute album closer “Hobo Cartoon,” billed as a co-write with late country legend Merle Haggard. The album also interprets a half-dozen songs from Simpson’s 2016 record “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth.”
Again joining Sturgill on the release is the hot-shot bluegrass band, dubbed the “Hillbilly Avengers,”fiddler Stuart Duncan, guitarist Tim O’Brien, mandolinist Sierra Hull, drummer Miles Miller, bassist Mike Bub and Scott Vestal and Mark Howard on banjo. David Ferguson produced the album.
“Cuttin’ Grass Vol 2. (Cowboy Arms Sessions)” Track List:
1. Call To Arms
2. Brace for Impact (Live a Little)
3. Oh Sarah
4. Sea Stories (Sunday Valley cut)
6. Welcome To Earth (Pollywog)
7. Jesus Boogie (Sunday Valley cut)
8. Keep It Between The Lines
9. You Can Have The Crown
11. Some Days
12. Hobo Cartoon written with Merle Haggard)