Kentucky lawmakers took time out Tuesday to heartily honor singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson, who was born in Jackson and graduated from Woodford County High School.
The Senate presented the 39-year-old artist with a Kentucky Colonelcy. In the House, Rep. James Kay, D-Verailles, called him “a man of the people.”
State Rep. Chris Harris found a receptive audience for his Facebook mention of Sturgill’s visit. “Now that’s someone I support on the floor! How awesome!” and “It’s about time someone showed up who has some sense! Maybe he can solve the pension crisis!”
A veteran of the United States Navy, Simpson formed the bluegrass band “Sunday Valley” in 2004 before leaving music to work on a shipping yard for Union Pacific Railroad.
He returned to music after moving to Nashville in 2012, and his first solo album, the self-produced “High Top Mountain,” announced him as a fearless artist for “true country music” who was attempting to return country music to what had brought it into popularity in the 1960s and 1970s, said a House resolution.
Simpson's second album, “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music,” further cemented him as an artist on the rise, and his breakout, “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” peaked at No. 1on the country music chart and was named Best Country Album at the 59th Grammy Awards in 2017.
Simpson begins a spring and summer tour next month, stopping along the way at music festivals including Bonnaroo, Mountain Jam, Telluride and the Newport Folk Festival.