Released on 20th August, Sturgill Simpson’s latest record is his third in the last twelve months. The concept album, The Ballad of Dood & Juanita, tells a story of the title characters in ten songs.
Starting with Prologue, we are introduced to the concept in the form of a traditional sounding (think American Civil War movie score) track, before the bluegrass song Old Dood (Part I). As the album continues, the style moves back and forth between classic country, bluegrass and other more traditional styles. The musicians – the same as those on the Cutting Grass albums – are on form, and the album is worth listening to for their work alone. By the time you get to Juanita, there is a Spanish influence to the music – something that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Mavericks record.
If you like your music with a country lean, this is the album you didn’t know you wanted. It combines great musicians, beautiful singing, and an interesting concept into a 28-minute album that will have you tapping your feet, singing along and, more importantly – *SPOILER* – the protagonist loses his wife and his dog dies.
The Ballad of Dood & Juanita is out now digitally on High Top Mountain Records. For those of you who prefer your music in a physical form, it will be released on CD and vinyl on 3rd December.