The Ballad of Dood & Juanita
Sturgill Simpson has made several sonic detours over the last few years, sharply veering away from the cosmic country of his breakout 2014 album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, particularly into prog rock on 2019’s SOUND & FURY and revisiting his bluegrass roots on the 2020 releases Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 1 (Butcher Shoppe Sessions) and Cuttin’ Grass, Vol. 2 (Cowboy Arms Sessions). The Ballad of Dood & Juanita falls more squarely in the latter’s territory, pulling from bluegrass, gospel, traditional country, and mountain music. Thematically, Dood & Juanita is a concept album, telling a continuous narrative throughout, something Simpson flirted with in the past but had yet to fully explore. And while Simpson has plenty of his own bona fides, tapping Willie Nelson to join him on “Juanita” sweetens the deal, offering a direct connection to the very lineage Simpson sets out to celebrate.