Editors’ Notes The rebellious spirit of ’70s outlaw country was re-energized for the 2010s when Sturgill Simpson went from underdog to alt-country phenomenon with his deep, Waylon-esque pipes, left-of-center lyrical style, and penchant for upending expectations. He can swing from erudite philosopher to roadhouse bad boy on a dime. Who else could supply the zombie satire The Dead Don’t Die with a devastatingly deadpan title tune, sing about Buddha, LSD, and reptile aliens in “Turtles All the Way Down,” and reimagine Nirvana’s “In Bloom” as a Merle Haggard-style country ballad?

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