There’s room in the world for all kinds of music, and room even in the alt-country/Americana world for lots of music types. But Sturgill Simpson’s High Top Mountain ain’t alt-country. It ain’t folk. It’s just country. Dripping with steel guitar and dominated by his lonesome, country voice.
The voice is the thing. Hard to put your finger on it, really. I mean, there are several obvious comparisons, but none fit quite right. I will say that hearing his voice the first time reminded me a bit of the first time I heard Jamey Johnson’s voice. I thought that maybe there was a chance for country, maybe real country could exist in the modern world. And another thing I thought of was hearing Jason Eady’s AM Country Heaven last year. I remember being blown away by the idea of the record. That someone would set out to make one completely country and not worry one little bit about it.