Sturgill shits the bed.

Or channels his inner Ryan Adams. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, amirite?

[with High Top Mountain], I definitely felt like there wasn’t really much interest in who I was really wanting to be. So, we made a Waylon Jennings record, and I’ve been trying to shake that shit off ever since. I can’t fucking listen to it. It’s so slick and clean….

I can’t listen to that record. It was a commercial record disguised as a traditional album, and to my ears, it’s just too fucking safe. So, with Metamodern, we got real unsafe….I mean, to my eyes, the Traveller record Cobb did with Stapleton was a commercial country record disguised as a traditional record.

I would say the term “tortured genius” comes to mind, but that may well be giving Sturgill way too much credit. I like the dude’s music; High Top Mountain and Metamodern Sounds in Country Music were a couple of the best albums of the 2010s. And it’s fine if he doesn’t like them, can’t listen to them, whatever. But the whole tone he projects here left me wondering, “if this is how you feel, dude, why the hell did you even bother after A Sailor’s Guide to Earth at the latest?” In fact, with his comments on High Top Mountain and how he felt like there wasn’t much interest in what he wanted to do, why did he even go through with it? It sounds like he’d have been a lot happier if he had, I don’t know, found a record label who was actually interested in what he wanted to do. More to the point, it sounds like he was just going along to get along. Which is fine, I guess, but don’t bitch about the result. Put another way, it sounds like he made High Top Mountain for commercial appeal at the behest of the label. Which is also fine, but he doesn’t have any business casting aspersions on Chris Stapleton or anyone else for doing the same.

Also, if Sturgill’s done, if this is the way he’s gonna be, then, well, whatever. So be it. There are a shit-ton of other artists & bands out there (not just country) deserving of our finite funds who are making great music, like what they do, and don’t feel the need to throw foul, faux-edgy, pretentious temper tantrums and shit all over the folks who helped them get where they are whenever someone sits down to interview them. Marketing stunt or not, it’s still just really off-putting.

(h/t Saving Country Music)

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