Sturgill Simpson Announces New Album, Tour; Says He Will Only Record Under the Name ‘Johnny Blue Skies’ From Now On

Singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson has always done things his way, and his iconoclasm will be in full force in July when he releases an album under the nom de plume “Johnny Blue Skies” — which he’s indicating will be the name that all his future albums will come out under

Published Time: 05.06.2024 - 20:31:27 Modified Time: 05.06.2024 - 20:31:27

Singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson has always done things his way, and his iconoclasm will be in full force in July when he releases an album under the nom de plume “Johnny Blue Skies” — which he’s indicating will be the name that all his future albums will come out under.

But for the purposes of touring, he will remain Sturgill Simpson. Whether splitting that difference is by preference, or because major venue operators are unlikely to book shows for a major artist under a pseudonym, is unknown. But he will be hitting the road under the name Sturgill Simpson this fall, with 28 show over the course of two and a half months of shows in arenas, theaters and amphitheaters, starting with a date at L.A.’s Greek Theatre on Sept. 14.

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Simpson’s first album under the name is Johnny Blue Skies is the eight-track “Passage du Desir,” due out July 12 on his own independent label, High Top Mountain Records.

A press release notes that “after promising to release only five studio albums under his own name,” Simpson is marking “the beginning of a new era” with the name change to Johnny Blue Skies. He did not release any statements about why he’s making the switch. But in a 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, Simpson did indeed vow that the album he was putting out at the time, “The Ballad of Dood and Juanita,” would be his last as Sturgill Simpson. “I always said there would be five, and I wondered if I’d go back on that. But it really has cemented every step of the way how much I don’t want to carry all that weight,” hetold the magazine at the time. “Not having to stand up there behind my name would allow me to be even more vulnerable, in a way.”

The track list for the new album encompasses the songs “Swamp of Sadness,” “If The Sun Never Rises Again,” “Scooter Blues,” “Jupiter’s Faerie,” “Who I Am,” “Right Kind of Dream,” “Mint Tea” and “One for the Road.” It was produced by the artist now known as Johnny Blue Skies along with David Ferguson, with sessions taking place at Clement House Recording Studio in Nashville and Abbey Road in London.

The fall outing is being billed as the “Why Not? Tour” and is characterized as his first major tour in four years. Band members for the trek are Kevin Black (bass), Robbie Crowell (keys), Laur Joamets (guitar) and Miles Miller (drums).

Fans will need to pre-register for the tour to queue up for tickets. Registration is open now through June 10 at for a pre-sale that begins June 12 at 10 a.m. local time. After that, a “limited number” of tickets will be reserved for a general on-sale June 14.

Tickets will be restricted from resale except through Ticketmaster’s Face Value Exchange, which aims to circumvent secondary-market price increases by only allowing tickets to be resold for the original price.

Stops the Simpson tour will be making along the way include Forest Hills Stadium in New York Oct. 19 and Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena Oct. 25 and .

The new concerts join the two Simpson shows that were previously booked for the coming months, both festival dates — an Outsi -

de Lands gig in the Bay area in early August that will precede the official tour opening by more than a month, and two Austin City Limits Festival appearances on successive weekends in October.

All the fall headlining shows are being billed as “an evening with Sturgill Simpson”— aka no opening act — with the exception of a Sept. 20 concert at the Gorge in Washington state that will feature Lord Huron as opener.

Unpredictable as Simpson’s ways may be, it’s highly likely the tour will feature material from the artist’s landmark album “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music.” Simpson celebrated the 10th anniversary of the record in May with a commemorative reissue on vinyl featuring new and more elaborate packaging.

While he has been largely absent from the touring circuit, Simpson has taken a turn into acting, with roles in Martin Scorsese’s “Killers of the Flower Moon” and “The Righteous Gemstones.”

Sturgill Simpson’s tour dates:

August 9-11—San Francisco, CA—Outside Lands

September 14—Los Angeles, CA—The Greek Theatre*

September 15—Santa Barbara, CA—Santa Barbara Bowl*

September 17—West Valley City, UT—Maverik Center*

September 19—Bend, OR—Hayden Homes Amphitheater*

September 20—George, WA—The Gorge Amphitheatre†

September 22—Missoula, MT—KettleHouse Amphitheater*

September 24—Moorhead, MN—Bluestem Center for the Arts Amphitheater*

September 25—Minneapolis, MN—Roy Wilkins Auditorium*

September 27—Lexington, KY—Rupp Arena*

September 28—Detroit, MI—Fox Theatre*

October 1—Chicago, IL—Salt Shed*

October 2—Chicago, IL—Salt Shed*

October 4—Brandon, MS—The Brandon Amphitheater*

October 4-6—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Music Festival

October 8—Oklahoma City, OK—Criterion*

October 9—Rogers, AR—Walmart AMP*

October 11-13—Austin, TX—Austin City Limits Music Festival

October 15—St. Louis, MO—Fabulous Fox Theatre*

October 18—Pittsburgh, PA—Petersen Events Center*

October 19—Forest Hills, NY—Forest Hills Stadium

October 21—Asheville, NC—ExploreAsheville.comArena*

October 22—Cary, NC—Koka Booth Amphitheatre*

October 24—Duluth, GA—Gas South Arena*

October 25—Nashville, TN—Bridgestone Arena*

November 12—Philadelphia, PA—The Met*

November 15—Hampton, VA—Hampton Coliseum*

November 18—Washington, DC—The Anthem*

November 20—Toronto, ON—Massey Hall*

November 21—Toronto, ON—Massey Hall*

November 23—Boston, MA—MGM Music Hall at Fenway*

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