Music

Sturgill Simpson Shares Merle Haggard Co-Write 'Hobo Cartoon'

Amy Harris/Invision/AP and Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP

Sturgill Simpson released his new surprise bluegrass album, Cuttin' Grass Vol. 2:  The Cowboy Arms Sessions, on Dec. 11 and it features the previously unheard "Hobo Cartoon," a song Simpson wrote with the late country legend Merle Haggard.

Simpson and Haggard became close friends before Haggard's death in 2016.

"We got to know each other in the last two years of his life," Simpson says in a press release. "He would call a lot, we'd talk on the phone. When he got sick, he was still writing songs, even in his hospital bed. This just popped up one day in the in box -- he sent me these lyrics in a text and he said, 'From one railroad man to another.'"

The song mentions Bing Crosby and Jimmie Rodgers (Haggard was a huge fan of Rodgers and covered his songs on Same Train, A Different Time: A Tribute to Jimmie Rodgers.)

"Songs from the great Jimmie Rodgers/ Hearing ol' Bing Crosby croon," Simpson sings. "This is the song about how things used to be/ in the script of a hobo cartoon."

Read More: A Merle Haggard Biopic is in the Works, Sam Rockwell in Talks to Star

Along with "Hobo Cartoon," Simpson's new album, recorded at Nashville's Cowboy Arms Hotel and Recording Spa, features bluegrass renditions of songs from his albums A Sailor's Guide to Earth and High Top Mountain as well as another new song, "Tennessee."

'Cuttin' Grass Vol. 2 - The Cowboy Arms Sessions' Tracklist:

1. "Call to Arms"
2. "Brace for Impact (Live a Little)"
3. "Oh Sarah"
4. "Sea Stories"
5. "Hero"
6. "Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)"
7. "Jesus Boogie"
8. "Keep It Between the Lines"
9. "You Can Have the Crown"
10. "Tennessee"
11. "Some Days"
12. "Hobo Cartoon"

 

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Sturgill Simpson Shares Merle Haggard Co-Write 'Hobo Cartoon'