There comes a time in everybody’s life where a musical act is able to enlighten the many dark and unfound aspects of someone’s life.
Such musical acts are typically not by design, rather a supersonic meteorite that hits you like big yellow school bus and shakes you to the point of absorption.
That is what Sturgill Simpson is to many.
The country legend performed to a sold-out crowd of 3,000 on the lawn of the brand new White Oak Music Hall where he proved his restless ability to tell his stories in a profound and meaningful way that continues to inspire many.
The Kentucky native recently celebrated the debut of his much-anticipated hit album, “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” which landed at No. 3 on Billboard’s Top 200 and first place in the country genre.
The night was smooth and the air was light, humidity disseminated and the sun went down as Simpson and his band took the stage ever so swiftly and unannounced.
Not that one was needed, there was no opening act, it was a sold out venue with a wavering performer before thousands of suffering and enamored music lovers thirsty for his Waylon Jenning-esque voice.
Simpson’s voice tells a story; it’s to blame for his massive success.
The voice of the 37-year-old singer-songwriter is strong, yet bruised.
The type of bruising heard when life and the many aspects of it exposes one to the pains, joys, and adventures of the Road.
The Road, a strong and conquered metaphor Sturgill refers to in “Long White Line,” a favorite to many he performed at White Oak while he and his band embarked on an orgasmic musical ruckus to deliver gold to the ears of Houstonians.
The set-list included 24 jams that, compared to previous Texas shows, were shifted and adjusted to fit the needs of White Oak, which has a fascinating skyline view of downtown.
Although Simpson performed older songs like “Long White Line,” “Turtles All the Way Down,” and my all-time favorite, “Just Let Go,” he still managed to deliver a fresh slate of songs off of his new album, “A Sailors Guide to Earth.”
The crowd roared and spilled their beers on their neighbors as Simpson and his seven-piece band performed new celebratory songs like “Welcome to Earth (Pollywog),” and “Breakers Roar.”
The crowd was feeling it.
Probably because the band included a full seven-piece part group composed of surprisingly talented trombone, trumpet, and saxophone players.
They, too, were feeling it.
“Thank you, Texas,” was all Sturgill said, he is a man of few words, but few was enough, he’s earned the right.
Once the quarter-moon lubricated the night, Sturgill, who proved his simplicity in life by wearing jeans and a black T-shirt, teased his audience by flexing his biceps as he engaged more with the crowd.
The night concluded with no encore. There was no need for one, he had said what he needed to say, which is what we all needed to hear.
Sturgill Simpson left the stage and took one last look at his loyal fans of outliers from the life-thirsty generation.
Simpson observed how the followers that follow the unknown, the rebels, and the unfit, sipped on their beers as they celebrated the many pains and fruits of life which is fueled by the code of the Road— which is as free and as wavering as Simpson himself.
By Sebastian Troitino