Last week, we told you about singer/songwriter Sturgill Simpson’s comments on Luke Bryan as reported in “The New York Times.” It appears we didn’t get the full picture, though.
The profile on Luke brought up Sturgill’s outspoken comments in the past about mainstream country music, and Luke went on the record with a compliment, saying, “I’ve wanted to go have coffee with Sturgill. I am utterly amazed at what he does.”
But the comments from Sturgill included in the piece made him sound extremely cold toward Luke. The article quoted him as saying in an email to the writer, “I don’t know Luke, I don’t think about Luke, and I’ve honestly never heard a single note of his music.”
While the quote itself is accurate, it turns out Sturgill had much more to say to “The New York Times” correspondent that wasn’t included in the story.
In an effort to flesh out his side of the story, Sturgill has now posted his full email exchange with the reporter on Twitter. That writer, Will Stephenson, asks Sturgill to comment on the “supposed opposition” between Sturgill’s ideas on country music and Luke’s pop-influenced country.
Sturgill replies, “I don’t know Luke. I don’t think about Luke, and I’ve honestly never heard a single note of his music so I’m afraid I am unable to supply you with quotes you and your editor are seeking from me to fill out your narrative.”
From there, Sturgill goes on pitch a different story he thinks the “Times” may be interested in telling. He’s been an outspoken critic of both the ACM and CMA Awards. Last year, Sturgill posted an impassioned Facebook post criticizing the Academy of Country Music (ACM) for naming a trophy after the late Merle Haggard. Sturgill also took on the CMA Awards, and performed for tips outside the show last month as a publicity stunt streamed to Facebook Live.
Sturgill won the Best Country Album Grammy Award for “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” earlier this year, but he’s never received a nod from either the CMA or ACM Awards. That’s what he hopes “The New York Times” might focus on going forward.
He writes, “I can say, however, a more interesting piece would perhaps be how the Grammy winner for this years Country Album of the Year somehow doesn’t get recognized/nominate[d] (much less invited) by either the CMA or the ACM to their respective award celebrations. When you wanna talk about that I’ll give you all the time you need.”
In the caption of his Twitter post, Sturgill referenced a quote he gave to Vice’s music site, Noisey, on why he doesn’t like dealing with the press. He says, “I’ve been pained in some lights [as] this angry guy. Just because when you say things in print it’s so easy for context to get twisted.”