“Cuttin’ Grass” with Sturgill Simpson & John Hurst

John Hurst, Staff Writer

“Cuttin’ Grass vol.1” by Sturgill Simpson is not a well known album overall, but it’s arguably my favorite album of all time. The album is twenty songs and fifty-five minutes of perfect country music. It was released through his own record label High Top Mountain. This is Sturgill’s fifth studio album and it’s easily his best. He had three previous country albums and one random rock album that in my opinion was a mistake. There is not a single skip on the album for me. All the instruments coming together on the bluegrass sounding instrumentals are so perfect. Many of the songs on this album are just versions of his popular songs, but with a more bluegrass sound. All of the songs were written by him except for “Long White Line” written by Buford Abner. They all came off his earlier albums like “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music,” and “High Top Mountain.”  Some of my favorite songs on this album are “I Don’t Mind,” “All Around You,” “Voices,” and “Water in a Well.” Those are just a few of the great songs on this album. “I Don’t Mind” is my favorite though. It was also the first song I heard on the album and by Sturgill. I stumbled across this album not long after its release in late 2020. Since then he has also released vol.2 which is almost as good but I still think vol. 1 is the best.

He had said he wanted to release a bluegrass album, and after rising to fame in country then releasing a rock album he finally delivered. He was already a rather big name meaning he could get some of the best bluegrass pickers on this album, this being The Hillbilly Avengers. Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Sierra Hull on mandolin, Scott Vestal and Mark Howard on banjo, Tim O’ Brien on guitar, Mike Bub on bass, and Miles Miller on drums. The hillbilly avengers are an accumulation of some of the best pickers in bluegrass today. I feel like this is the type of music he should have been making the whole time. The way some of these songs were released originally are just not near as good as they are here. I am personally very pleased with this album, and only wish all his music was like this.