Sturgill Simpson to bring fall tour to Huntington

Published 2:23 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Breathitt County Kentucky’s favorite son, Sturgill Simpson, will be bringing his “Why Not?” tour to Huntington, West Virginia this fall.

Simpson, who is now performing under the name and alter ego of Johnny Blue Skies, will be promoting the new album “Passage Du Desir” with his first nationwide tour in four years and will play the at the Marshall Health Network Arena on Nov. 16.

This is the first time Simpson has played in the Tri-State since he played the Paramount Arts Center in Ashland, Kentucky in 2015.

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Fans can pre-register early access for tickets starting at 10 a.m. on Thursday at and a limited number of tickets will be available for the general on-sale at 10 a.m. on Friday, June 21 at, while supplies last.

Fans who purchase tickets on Ticketmaster and can’t attend will have the option to resell their tickets at the original price paid using Face Value Exchange.

To protect the Exchange, Simpson has requested that all shows ticketed by Ticketmaster use tickets that are mobile only and restricted from transfer. A valid bank account or debit card within the country of this event is required to sell on the Face Value Exchange.

Simpson is part of a wave of acts that have been put in the Americana or country category but push the boundaries of the genre with artists like Tyler Childers and Jason Isbell, both of whom he has toured with. He also produced two of Childer’s albums, “Purgatory” and “Country Squire.”

As for the name Johnny Blue Skies, Simpson said after he competed five albums, he was going to retire. Instead, he performs under the new name, which is was first used in an insert on his 2016 album “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth” a picture of two skeletons similar to a pirate flag that bears the warning “Beware the dread pirate Johnny Blue Skies.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the release of Simpson’s breakthrough album “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music. Two of the tracks, “Turtles All The Way Down” and a cover of the band When In Rome’s song “The Promise” lead to appearances on several late night shows and an NPR “Tiny Desk Concert” and was certified as a gold record.

Since his debut, Simpson has released five full-length studio albums—2013’s “High Top Mountain,” 2014’s “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music,” 2016’s “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth,” 2019’s “Sound & Fury” and 2021’s “The Ballad of Dood and Juanita”—along with the 2020 projects, “Cuttin’ Grass Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.”

Simpson has earned widespread acclaim and countless accolades including a Grammy Award in 2017 for Best Country Album and six Grammy nominations across four genres: country, rock, bluegrass and americana. He was also named a Kentucky Colonel in 2018 and in 2020, a road in Versailles, Kentucky was re-named “Sturgill Simpson Way.”

In addition to his work as a musician, Simpson has acted in film and television, including roles in The Dead Don’t Die, Queen & Slim, Killers of the Flower Moon and The Righteous Gemstones.

Passage Du Desir will be out July 12 on Simpson’s own independent label, High Top Mountain Records.

The album includes eight songs produced by Johnny Blue Skies and David Ferguson and recorded at Clement House Recording Studio in Nashville and Abbey Road Studios in London, England.

The track listing includes 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.