High Top Mountain

by Sturgill Simpson

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    Sturgill Simpson's authenticity stands out like an island of hope in a sea of tacky. Pure and uncompromising, devoid of gloss and fakery. High Top Mountain’s dozen instant classics evoke the sound of timeless country in its many guises and brings back the lyrical forthrightness and depth that permeated the music Simpson absorbed during his Kentucky childhood. Bonafide mountain hillbilly soul, as pure as you are going to find anywhere.
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released June 11, 2013


Sturgill Simpson - vocals, acoustic guitar, Telecaster
Hargus "Pig" Robbins - piano
Chris Powell - drums
Robby Turner - steel guitar, bass (tracks 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, 10)
Brian "Freedom Eagle Bear" Allen - bass (tracks 4, 6, 9, 11, 12)
Bobby "Diamond Bob" Emmett - organ, Mellotron
Leroy Powell - steel guitar (tracks 6, 9), backing vocals (track 6)
Dave Cobb - 12 string electric guitar (track 7)

Produced by Dave Cobb
Engineered by Vance Powell
Assistant Engineered by Jason Mott
Mixed by Vance Powell at Sputnik Sound - Nashville, TN
Mastering by Richard Dodd
Songs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12 recorded at FALLING ROCK - Nashville, TN
(Songs #6 & #9 recorded at HILLBILLY CENTRAL - Nashville, TN)

Mgmt: M. Dottore Management (madmanager.com)
Cover art by Pastor Jim Harris
Photography by Melissa Madison Fuller
Package Design by Kimberly Levitan

2013 High Top Mountain Records. Marketed and Distributed by Thirty Tigers/RED. All Rights Reserved.


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Sturgill Simpson Nashville, Tennessee


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Track Name: Life Aint Fair and the World is Mean
Well that label man said son now can you sing a little bit more clear
Your voice might be too genuine and your song's a little too sincere
Can you sing a little more about outlaws and the way things used to be
He told me you just worry about writing them songs leaving everything else to me

Daddy was a Highwayman but he never wrote any old country songs
Papaw never stayed out raising hell til the break of dawn
But he raised a proud coal miners daughter and I'm proud to be her son
She told me boy I don't care if you hit it big, cause you’re already #1

That's the way it goes in this day & age
You ain't gotta read between the lines you just gotta turn the page
Well the most outlaw thing that I've ever done was give a good woman a ring
But that's the way it goes, life ain't fair and the world is mean

Well I still got the wife and the dog but I swapped the truck out for a van
Gonna hit the road find the end of that long white line in the promise land
Won’t hear my song on the radio cause that new sounds all the rage
But you can always find me in a smokey bar with bad sound and a dim lit stage
Track Name: Railroad of Sin
Well they say you live & learn but it really seems more to me
Like all along I've been learning how to live
Well for years I been drifting like a boat lost out at sea
I've been out walking them ties on the railroad of sin

Looking back on my life now at some of the things I done
Makes me wanna hang my head in shame
I was a no good, no account, low down heartbreaker
On that railroad of sin I was a highballing train

I'm just a poor boy had to beg, steal, & borrow
Just a leaf blowing lonesome in the wind
I'm just a hitchhiker on that old highway of sorrow
Just a highballing train on that railroad of sin

Well you won't feel it and you won't hear it coming
Cause when she's rolling slow it don't make a sound
But I got that throttle to ten on the railroad of sin
I'm coming off of the rails and I can't slow it down
Track Name: Water in a Well
They say that looks can be deceiving
and there's been rumors going round
One look at me's the same thing as believing
everything you've heard without hearing a sound
So if my eyes remind you of water in a well
It's because your heart is the stone
I know sometimes it can seem like my mind
belongs to a child that's grown
But somewhere between you and me I've lost my way
and I've been trying to get home
Trying like hell but it's too soon to tell
If our love has all dried up like water in a well

Lord knows I've tried to move on
and get you out of my mind
You find your way in to all of my songs
Every memory I manage to find
Someday if I'm standing on some big old stage
And you're down in the crowd
Trying to tell your friends I used to know him when
But in your heart you'll know it ain't true somehow
Trying like hell but it's too soon to tell
If our love has all dried up like water in a well

I know you see what it's doing to me
I'm up here playing my part in this nobody town
Track Name: Sitting Here Without You
You could have told me you didn't care about me
You could have told me you was the cheating kind
I'd be out on the town running around
seeing what else I could find
Instead of sitting here without you
and with you on my mind

I'm all alone in the night
and I know you ain't coming back to me
There's a moon over me so bright
It lights up my sorrow for everyone to see

You could have told me you didn't care about me
You could have told me you was the cheating kind
I'd be out on the town running around
seeing what else I could find
Instead of sitting here without you
and with you on my mind

Don't have to tell nobody how I'm feeling
Don't have to tell nobody how I cry
It's written on my face cause' I know you're out there stealing
All them sweet, sweet kisses from all them other guys
Track Name: The Storm
Please don't think me a lazy man
Because I've been sitting around all day with the blues
I know how it looks but don't misunderstand
It's just that I can tell a storm's about to brew
Cause there's thunder inside my mind
There's lightning behind these eyes

There's a lull and the wind is dying down
Don't let it fool you the storm ain't done
Flood waters rolling in and my hearts gonna drown
Our love wilted like a flower that ain't got enough sun

Well the thunder in my head might go away
And the river of pain will flow back to the sea
If you would only come back home to stay
It'd bring a stop to the rain and happiness to me
Well if you would just come back I'd be so grateful
And the storm would be over
The world wouldn't seem so mean and hateful
And I'd lay you down on a bed of yellow clover
Track Name: You Can Have The Crown
Well, I been spending all my money on weed n' pills
Trying to write a song that'll pay the bills
But it ain't came yet so I guess I'll have to rob a bank

I guess it could be worse it ain't that bad
At least I ain't sitting in old Baghdad
in the middle of the hot damn desert sitting in a tank

Every time the wife talks a baby gets mentioned
But I'm so broke I can't pay attention
Lord how it tears me up to see her cry

So I been spending all my nights on the internet
looking for a clue but ain't found one yet
just a bunch of Mopars, guitars, & other stuff I can't buy

Well now Lord if you can hear me won't you throw a damn dog a bone
Cause if the Devil shows up with a better deal this old soul's going down
I sing 'em real pretty I sing 'em real sad
All the people in the crowd say he ain't half bad
They call me King Turd up here on Shit Mountain but if you want it you can have the crown

Been sitting on my ass like a bump on a log
Watching Andy and ol' Boss Hog
Guess I ought to get up and go find a job

Instead of sitting on the couch trying to find the next line
I'm sure there's gotta be a better use of my time
Like figuring out which one of these banks I'm gonna go rob

Well the name of the game is hurry up and wait
but that ain't putting no food on my plate
or gas in my car and I drive a Bronco

So Lord if I could just get me a record deal
I might not have to worry about my next meal
but I'll still be trying to figure out what the hell rhymes with Bronco
Track Name: Time After All
They say that life can decide in the blink of eye
if our silly little dreams will ever come true
But the dreams in my mind all go by so slow
What the hell else can I do

I wanna slow it all down and watch it roll by
See where the sweet melody falls
I wanna roll off the tempo, lay back and get high
Cause it's only time and time after all

I've grown tired of cold places and the same old cold faces
and I'm tired of the smoke they all blow in my eyes
I'm sick of the banging, can't take no more clanging
I'm tired of yelling over top that back line

They say time takes care of itself
It gets by without no help at all
Like a jar of sand that sits on the shelf
It's only time and time after all
Track Name: Hero
Decided to write a song for my hero
Considering he's done so much for me
He's the one that pulled me up when I fell down so low
He's the one that led me through the darkness when I could not see
Never met a man more gentle or any humbler
Never once heard him raise his voice or saw him mad
But I watched him break his back on coal and lumber
To give her everything she never had

Cause when it all comes down to zero
There's nothing more this life could ever give
And I know I'll never find another hero
Not another one like him

Born on a summer day in some dark holler
Way back in the hills of Perry County
Well he grew up poor and he never saw a dollar
But a dollar ain't no good in a coal camp anyway

Cause when it all comes down to zero
There's nothing more this life could ever give
And I know I'll never find another hero
Not another one like him

And if I'm half the man he is when I die
I don't know if I could ask for too much more
He taught me you only need one hand
to count your real friends in this life
But if you find true love you better take both arms
and hold on til your sore
Track Name: Some Days
I'm getting pretty tired of the state things are in
Sometimes I feel like cutting a vein, just watching it bleed
I'm tired of laying it down, getting nothing on the other end
and people only wanting to be your friend when you got something they need

Well I'm getting pretty tired of being treated like competition
When the only one that can hold me down is inside my head
Whats a honky gotta do around here to get a little recognition
Start to think I might be worth more to everybody if I was dead

I'm getting pretty tired sitting around and wasting time
I'm tired of taking blame when I ain't done nothing wrong
I'm tired of other people trying to take what's mine
and I'm tired of y'all playing dress up and trying to sing them old country songs

Well some days you kill it and some days you just choke
Some days you blast off and some days you just smoke
Well now maybe I do and maybe I don't
Everybody says they'll be there but in the end y'all know they won't
Track Name: Old King Coal
Many a man down in these here hills
made a living off that old black gold
Now there ain't nothing but welfare and pills
and the wind never felt so cold

I'll be one of the first in a long long line
not to go down from that old black lung
My death will be slower than the rest of my kind
And my life will be sadder than the songs they all sung

Old King Coal what are we gonna do
when the mountains are gone and so are you

They come from the city to lend a hand
carrying signs saying, Shut the mines down
We ain't looking for pity and you don't understand
So go back to your city now cause this ain't your town

My Great Grandfather spent his days in a coal mine
and his nights on the porch in a chair
Now he's in heaven and down here in hell
the rivers run muddy and the mountains are bare
Track Name: Poor Rambler
Come and gather around me good people
My life I must reveal
Well tomorrow might have been different
and I know how my darling ought to feel

Well that last time I saw my woman
She had a wine glass in her hand
She was drinking down her troubles
With a low down sorry man

Well I wrote my Momma a letter
And I told her I was in jail
Well she wrote me back in a hurry
Saying honey I'm gonna come and throw your bail

Well I'm a laying around in this old jail house
Forty dollars will pay my fine
Pretty women swarming all around me
Marijuana has destroyed my mind

Give me cornbread when I'm hungry
Corn whiskey when I'm dry
Pretty women swarming all around me
Sweet Heaven when I die

Well my Daddy taught me plenty
And my Momma she taught me more
She said if I didn't quit my rowdy ways
I'd have trouble knocking at my door

When my Earthly trials are over
Throw my cold dead body in the sea
Tell that false hearted lover of mine
That the whales are gonna fuss over me

Give me cornbread when I'm hungry
Corn whiskey when I'm dry
Pretty women swarming all around me
Sweet Heaven when I die
Track Name: I'd Have to be Crazy
I'd have to be crazy to stop all my singing
and never play music again
You'd call me a fool if I grabbed up my top hat
and ran out to flag down the wind
I'd have to be weird to grow me a beard
just to see what the rednecks would do
I'd have to be crazy plum out of my mind
to fall out of love with you

You know I've done weird things, told people I've heard things
When silence was all in abounds
Been days when it pleased me to crawl on my knees
following ants as they crawled across the ground
Been insane on a train but I'm still me again
and the place where I hold you is true
But I'd have to be crazy, plum out of my mind
To fall out of love with you

You know I don't intend to
But should there come a day
when I say that I don't love you
You can lock me away

Well it sure would be dingy to live in an envelope
in a world waiting along for a stamp
You'd swear I was loco to rub for a genie
while burning my hand on a lamp
I may not be normal but nobody is
so I'd like to say before I'm through
I'd have to be crazy, plum out of my mind
to fall out of love with you

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