Fresh off a short stint touring with Zac Brown Band, Sturgill Simpson appeared on Conan Wednesday night to perform a song that sounds plucked from Waylon Jennings’ catalog, yet leaves today’s country critics salivating. “Living the Dream” has that Seventies’ Outlaw country sound, coupled with downtrodden lyrics that are lonesome, on’ry and meaningful.
“Ain’t no point getting outta bed if you ain’t living the dream,” sings Simpson in the somber, yet uptempo tune. “It’s like making a big old pot of coffee when you ain’t got no cream/I don’t need to change my strings/The dirt don’t hurt the way I sing/I don’t have to do a goddamn thing except sit around and wait to die.”
The self-penned song is off the Kentucky native’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music album, released in May. The LP, which he reports was recorded over four days for just about $4,000, is a critic favorite for its throwback sound, though the musician jokes with Rolling Stone Country that it’s just his “hippie love record.”
Simpson is up for Emerging Act of the Year at the Americana Music Awards, which will be held September 17th in Nashville. He has extended his fall tour, with a calendar packed with shows through early December.