Aside from playing two tracks from his recent album From a Room: Volume 2 on this week’s Will Ferrell-hosted episode of Saturday Night Live, Chris Stapleton brought out fellow country singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson for a surprise appearance on both songs.
Stapleton and Simpson performed “Midnight Train to Memphis” and “Hard Livin’” from the LP; neither studio version includes Simpson, but he sounded comfortable on the crunchy country-blues tune and the honky-tonk anthem. Stapleton and Simpson are both sonic outsiders in the country community, embracing a less-commercial, more traditional approach to the genre than what’s typically on the radio.
Stapleton is up for three awards at Sunday (Jan. 28) night’s Grammy Awards ceremony in New York City: best country album, best country song and best country solo performance. He’s also playing the telecast alongside the legendary Emmylou Harris. Another Stapleton collaboration, “Say Something” from Justin Timberlake’s upcoming album Man of the Woods, came out this week.
Watch both SNL performances below.