Stephen Simmons

CD Release

Nashville Scene Critic's Pick …

Have you heard the one about the resolutely left-of-mainstream roots singer-songwriter who wears certain ’70s influences on his sleeve? Those Waylon, Willie and Neil Young acolytes are never in short supply. Thing is, the songwriter I’m talking about — East Nashville stalwart Stephen Simmons — is drawing from a different well: the cool, deep waters of Charlie Rich, Ronnie Milsap and above all, Don Williams. They were the un-outlaws, the singers who unfurled unabashedly tender expression over finessed production and weren’t at all at odds with country radio. Simmons has made his share of scruffy-smart folk-country and roots-rock albums, steering his narratives into the Southern Gothic shadows, but his new album, Hearsay, is a quietly bold surprise. Suddenly, there are sentimental strains to his storytelling, suppleness to his phrasing and an elegant, loping fluency to the grooves. But it’s not the non sequitur it seems, considering Simmons has been traversing this territory during his Rhinestone Country Revue shows for half-a-dozen years. “I’m tempted to say maybe I’m older and more mellow,” Simmons muses in an email. “But I loved those songs as an 8-year-old kid too.” 

—Jewly Hight

Fri, Aug 23 | 6:30 PM
The Family Wash
[Venue Details]

Stephen Simmons

Manchester TN  |  Country

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