The Ballad of Dood and Juanita är Sturgill Simpsons tredje album på tolv månader och det skrevs och spelades in på mindre än en vecka! Med samma musiker som spelade på förra årets Cuttin´Grass album inspirerades Sturgill på nya skivan av sin farfar och berättar här en klassisk amerikansk historia om ett par under inbördeskriget som slets isär av våld och återförenades av kärlek.
Han har haft titeln till albumet i huvudet i åratal och han visste att han ville skriva någonting för att hylla sin farfar som var “ a very powerful force and presence in my life,” men som gick bort 2017.
Det var under arbetet med den kommande Martin Scorsese-filmen där han medverkar som idén till albumet tog form:
Driving home from the Oklahoma set of Killers of the Flower Moon—the upcoming Martin Scorsese film in which he co-stars—Simpson put on Willie Nelson’s classic 1975 song cycle Red Headed Stranger, and found himself listening to it eight or nine times on repeat. His wife had recently sent him a photo of two antique Kentucky long rifles that her father had given to her, and an idea suddenly started to crystallize.
In two days, he had assembled the entire thing. “I wrote the story in my mind,” he says, “who the characters were—including the mule and the dog—and then realized everybody had to have their own song. I decided to set it back in the Civil War era in eastern Kentucky, and use my grandfather as this fictitious figure, sort of a larger-than-life badass who loved to put violence at bay.”
Though it clocks in under thirty minutes, it’s the most ambitious work yet in a career marked by risk-taking and rule-breaking. Simpson has previously challenged genre conventions with 2016’s soul-inflected A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, which won the Grammy award for Country Album of the Year and was nominated for Album of the Year, and 2019’s Sound & Fury, which was nominated for Best Rock Album.He describes the new album as a “rollercoaster ride through all the styles of traditional country and bluegrass and mountain music that I love, including gospel and a cappella.”