Benjamin Clementine and Sturgill Simpson

Benjamin Clementine Mercury Prize winner for Album of the Year 2015

Benjamin Clementine Mercury Prize winner for Album of the Year 2015

Benjamin Clementine and Sturgill Simpson don’t really have a lot in common.  Benjamin is from England and lived in Paris for a while before moving back to London.  Sturgill is from Kentucky.  Benjamin’s music has been compared to Nina Simone and Edith Piaf.  Sturgill’s music is reminiscent of Waylon Jennings and the Outlaw Country music scene.

Both reminded me this weekend of why they are essential artists with brilliant albums to revisit again and again.

Last Friday, Benjamin took home the Mercury Prize, an award that goes to the best album in the UK, for his album “At Least For Now

Electric and Slide guitar player Laur Joamets with Sturgill Simpson

Electric and Slide guitar player Laur Joamets with Sturgill Simpson

Saturday, I saw Sturgill Simpson turn a sold out crowd of Downtown LA hipsters into a hootin’ and a hollarin’ hootenanny.  Sturgill’s two hour performance showcased an amazing live band that jammed out their songs like it was a Grateful Dead show.  Sturgill’s album Metamodern Sounds in Country Music came out in May 2014 and he’s been working non-stop and earning new fans with every performance.    He plays both types of music, Country and Western but even those that aren’t fans of those genres can find something to love about Sturgill’s music.

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