Freedom Action

Sturgill Simpson Carries on the Spirit of Down-Home Country Political Activism

Sturgill Simpson
Written by JoAnn Chateau

What would late-great country singers Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard say about the condition of America today? We can imagine.

Sturgill Simpson carries on the tradition of down-home country political activism. Barred from the Country Music Association (CMA) awards ceremony Wednesday night, Simpson performed outside the building, like a busker on the street. All “hat” proceeds were designated for the ACLU.


The True Spirit of Country Music Is Sturgill Simpson Calling Trump ‘a Fascist F**King Pig’ | Huffington Post

“Sturgill Simpson has spent his entire career in country music bucking Nashville’s establishment kingmakers. An outlaw in the mold of Merle Haggard, the singer infuses his music with everything from Buddhist-sounding contemplations of life’s meaning to tales of psychedelic drug use, criticism of modern religion and poetic life advice to his infant child… He shakes off the idea that he’s country music’s ‘savior,’ while at the same time pledging that he arrived in Nashville years ago primarily to promulgate the ‘destruction’ of its vapid pickups-plus-girls-plus-beer hit-making formula.

So it’s no surprise that Simpson, despite winning a Grammy for Best Country Album last year, wasn’t invited inside for Wednesday’s Country Music Awards, the establishment celebration of (just about) everything he hates…”

Travis Waldron

READ MORE: The True Spirit of Country Music Is Sturgill Simpson Calling Trump ‘a Fascist F**King Pig’ | Huffington Post

Simpson’s 2016 “All Around You” music video is politically symbolic. It may make you cry. The visuals got me.


Sturgill Simpson Busking Outside CMA Award Ceremony

“…The artist was flanked by an open guitar case, his Grammy award for Best Country Album, and a couple signs that read, ‘I don’t take requests, but I take questions about anything you want to talk about … because fascism sucks’ and another sign that read, ‘Struggling country singer… Anything helps (all donations go to the ACLU). God Bless America.’…” ~ Althea Legaspi

READ MORE: Watch Sturgill Simpson Busk, Take Questions, Slam Trump Outside CMA Awards | Rolling Stone


Related Reading

Country Music Is Becoming the Soundtrack of a Nonexistent, Apolitical No-Place | The Washington Post


Country Music Resistance

 

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

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