Fresh off of his Letterman debut the previous night, Sturgill Simpson played two sold out shows at Joe's Pub in NYC on July 15th.
The room was full of an eclectic mix of people, from NYC hipsters to self proclaimed rednecks, to couples on dates. The one thing that unified them though was the love of the music (as evidenced by the many singing along) and/or their desire to see a much talked about artist up close and personal. The fact that the shows were sold out was a bit of a turn around from his show in the fall (at a different venue) when attendance was slim and people weren't really paying attention. When he emerged onto the stage, everyone quieted down and paid attention; and he genuinely seemed pleasantly surprised by the turnout, as he thanked everyone for coming more than once.
Sturgill and his three piece band played songs from both of his albums, which he proudly noted were put out without any assistance from Nashville, as well as a few covers, including Lefty Frizzell's "I Never Go Around Mirrors." The foursome, especially lead guitarist Laur Joamets, are an impressive group who demonstrated their more than adequate skills throughout the little over and hour long set.
Sturgill himself was engaging, funny and seemed very at ease interspersing banter, about anything from psychedelics to encouraging people to check out the Cotton Wood Research Foundation, in between songs.
He sent out his final song to all of the lonely ladies in the audience and offered his three single band members to anyone who was interested because "you cant come to NYC and play Letterman and...." (you know).
He received two standing ovations and cheers form the audience making it fully known that he is welcome back to NYC anytime....probably in a larger venue.
For more information visit his official website.