Simpson: With "In Bloom," I knew within the narrative of the album that this was going to be the centerpiece. It was about getting the essence of that song so I had a touchstone or beacon to go in and frame things around.

Gavin Lurssen (mastering engineer): Very few records these days have the kind of narrative arc that this record had. It was very noticeable and it struck me when I was working on it.

Ferguson: I remember standing outside the studio in the parking lot, talking about getting the strings and horns. I said, "Well, you can do whatever you want. We can go to New York and get those, we can get the Dap-Kings if you want."

Simpson: I guess it being the first time I ever recorded on a major label, I had to be reminded of the toolbox that was now available. I said to Ferg, "Man, it would be cool if we could get someone like the Dap-Kings," and he just said, "Well, you know Sturgill, you can do that. That's what Atlantic Records is for." So I called my A&R guy and said, "I want to get the Dap-Kings." A couple hours later he had some stuff lined up. They probably shouldn't have told me all I had to do was ask! - []

Sturgill Simpson will be at the Grammys on Sunday, performing at the ceremony while his LP A Sailor's Guide to Earth which is up for Album of the Year (facing competition from Adele, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, and Drake). He talks about making the record, and how his cover of Nirvana's "In Bloom" helped the album take shape, in an "oral history" type feature you can read over at (excerpted above).

Sturgill just announced new 2017 tour dates, including a stop at NYC's Radio City Music Hall on September 14. Tickets for the tour go on sale Thursday, February 16 (10 AM for the Radio City show) with various presales for Radio City starting February 15 at 10 AM. All tour dates are listed below.


Sturgill Simpson - 2017 Tour Dates
Mar 04 Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival Okeechobee, FL
May 06 The Wharf Amphitheater Orange Beach, AL
Jul 07 Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre Charlotte, NC
Jul 08 Koka Booth Amphitheatre Cary, NC
Jul 14 Fox Theatre Atlanta, GA
Jul 14 Forecastle Festival Louisville, KY
Jul 15 Forecastle Festival Louisville, KY
Jul 15 Sloss Music & Arts Festival Birmingham, AL
Jul 16 Sloss Music & Arts Festival Birmingham, AL
Jul 16 Forecastle Festival Louisville, KY
Sep 07 Smart Financial Centre Sugar Land, TX
Sep 08 Verizon Theatre Grand Prairie, TX
Sep 09 Austin360 Amphitheater Del Valle, TX
Sep 14 Radio City Music Hall New York, NY
Sep 15 Merriweather Post Pavillion Columbia, MD
Sep 16 Blue Hills Bank Pavilion Boston, MA
Sep 19 Fox Theatre Detroit, MI
Sep 21 Fox Theatre St Louis, MO
Sep 22 Huntington Bank Pavilion Chicago, IL
Sep 25 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison, CO
Sep 29 Arlene Schnitzer Music Hall Portland, OR
Sep 30 Marymoor Amphitheater Redmond, WA
Oct 06 The Greek Theatre Los Angeles, CA

More From Brooklyn Vegan