Sturgill Simpson is… Johnny Blue Skies?

The musician's alter ego is back... is it here to stay?

Sturgill Simpson is headed back to the stage… just not as “Sturgill Simpson.”

The Kentucky native recently announced a brand-new album Passage du Desir, slated for release on July 12th. But before you go digging through record bins or your preferred digital music retailer for Simpson’s name, know this: you’ll be looking for Johnny Blue Skies instead.

Sturgill Simpson aka Johnny Blue Skies and band | photo by semi song, via Rolling Stone

The new stage name isn’t exactly “new” new. Simpson previously went by Johnny Blue Skies while collaborating with Diplo and Dove Cameron on a track last year, NME noted. And diehard Simpson fans will recall his 2021 interview with Rolling Stone, where he declared while promoting The Ballad of Dood and Juanita, that he would only release five albums under his own name.

“This is the last Sturgill record. I always said there would be five, and I wondered if I’d go back on that,” he told the music magazine at the time.

Passage du Desir was produced by Johnny Blue Skies (aka Sturgill Simpson) and his longtime collaborator David Ferguson. It was recorded at both Clement House Recording Studio in Nashville and Abbey Road Studios in London.

Album Artwork for Johnny Blue Skies’ Passage du Desir

Track Listing for Passage du Desir:

01 Swamp of Sadness
02 If the Sun Never Rises Again
03 Scooter Blues
04 Jupiter’s Faerie
05 Who I Am
06 Right Kind of Dream
07 Mint Tea
08 One for the Road

In addition to the album, Simpson as Johnny Blue Skies revealed plans for his Why Not? Tour which kicks off August 9th and will span both the West and East coasts, hitting fun stops along the way, too. Lord Huron is slated to join the tour for the Quincy, Washington date at the famous Gorge Amphitheatre.

Tour artwork for Johnny Blue Skies’ newly announced Why Not? Tour

Why Not? Tour Dates:

08/11 San Francisco, CA – Outside Lands
09/14 Los Angeles, CA – Greek Theatre
09/15 Santa Barbara, CA – Santa Barbara Bowl
09/17 West Valley City, UT – Maverik Center
09/19 Bend, OR – Hayden Homes Amphitheater
09/20 Quincy, WA – Gorge Amphitheatre *
09/22 Bonner, MT – KettleHouse Amphitheater
09/24 Moorhead, MN – Bluestem Center for the Arts
09/25 Minneapolis, MN – Roy Wilkins Auditorium
09/27 Lexington, KY – Rupp Arena
09/28 Detroit, MI – Fox Theatre
10/01 Chicago, IL – Salt Shed
10/02 Chicago, IL – Salt Shed
10/04 Brandon, MS – Brandon Amphitheater
10/06 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
10/08 Oklahoma City, OK – Criterion
10/09 Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP
10/13 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Music Festival
10/15 St. Louis, MO – Fabulous Fox Theatre
10/18 Pittsburgh, PA – Petersen Events Center
10/19 Asheville, NC – Harrah’s Cherokee Center
10/21 Cary, NC – Koka Booth Amphitheatre
10/24 Duluth, GA – Gas South Arena
10/25 Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
11/12 Philadelphia, PA – The Met
11/15 Hampton, VA – Hampton Coliseum
11/18 Washington, D.C. – The Anthem
11/20 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
11/21 Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
11/23 Boston, MA – MGM Music Hall at Fenway

* with Lord Huron