Sturgill Simpson is one of my favorite new artists of this decade — both as part of the band Sunday Valley and under his own name. His first solo release, 2013’s High Top Mountain, was a top-notch album rooted in Waylon Jennings’ style of outlaw country, and his equally good sophomore album – 2014’s Metamodern Sounds in Country Music – was a much more psychedelic country affair with a modern twist. His third album, A Sailor’s Guide to Earth, finds the former Navy veteran writing a concept album to his newborn son teaching him how to be a man. For this nine-track collection Simpson brings the Dap-Kings onboard to lend a healthy dose of soul. Highlights include: the opener “Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)”; the country funk of “Keep It Between The Lines”; the proud “Sea Stories”; the driving “Brace For Impact (Live a Little)”; and the soulful “All Around You.” Sturgill Simpson’s third album is another excellent album from a very talented young musician who continues to push himself musically on each release. I can’t wait for the next one.