Released on Atlantic Records and boosted by live performances on programs like The Daily Show and The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Sailor’s Guide racked up ten times as many sales as Simpson’s last release, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, during its own release week. That’s enough to make it the third top-selling album on the Billboard 200 chart, as well. (He’s preceded only by Prince, with a greatest hits compilation and the Purple Rain album.)
For a songwriter whose new album moves away from the modern-day outlaw country of his first two releases, Simpson’s two new chart placements — both all-time career highs — provide proof that his audience is willing to follow him down Sailor’s Guide‘s soul-inspired rabbit hole. Not that he needed any sort of consolation.
“Anybody that’s disappointed, I’m really sorry — and tough shit,” he told his audience during last week’s show at Rough Trade in Brooklyn, where he played the entire album with a newly-expanded seven-piece band.
Simpson is now on the road with those new bandmates on A Sailor’s Tour, with a pair of shows in Austin on tap for next week.