Sturgill Simpson is not a traditional country singer. Actually, perhaps he is more of a “traditional” country artist than most, but he is decidedly not copacetic with the way mainstream country looks. He hangs out with Stephen Colbert at Waffle Houses. He covered Nirvana on his latest record. Simpson also has a lot of beef with the Academy of Country Music Awards. He recently wrote a Facebook post taking a shot at the country music establishment down in Nashville, particularly where it comes to the legacy of late country music legend Merle Haggard.
The ACM Awards have decided to name an award after Haggard, ostensibly to honor him. However, Simpson, who is a big Haggard fan and chatted with him for Garden and Gun magazine, thinks Haggard wouldn’t have appreciated the gesture. Simpson wrote:
“I’m writing this because I want to go on record and say I find it utterly disgusting the way everybody on Music Row is coming up with any reason they can to hitch their wagon to his name while knowing full and damn well what he thought about them. If the ACM wants to actually celebrate the legacy and music of Merle Haggard, they should drop all the formulaic cannon fodder bullsh*t they’ve been pumping down rural America’s throat for 30 years along with all the high school pageantry, meat parade award show bullsh*t and start dedicating their programs to more actual Country Music.”
Well, this certainly isn’t going to help Simpson’s standing with the country music industrial complex. He also clearly could not care less.