Yesterday I put up a post about Sturgill Simpson’s album Big Top Mountain. I related how I had not loved his two other albums, “Metamodern Sounds in Country Music” and “A Sailor’s Guide to Earth” but that on the former album I thought that the song Panbowl was extremely good. This post is to expand on that comment. One of the things that country music can do is tell a story. In fact, I think that possibly the best country songs are the ones that do that best. Panbowl seems to be an autobiographical remembrance of youth and family. It feels to me like a completely heartfelt expression of anguish at the loss of the simple joys of being a child in a family. He paints a vivid picture of an extended family that provided love and belonging and what it means to lose this.
Admittedly I am attracted to strong sentiment so that might be the reason I rate this song so highly, but I think many country music fans will think this is an excellent song. In any case I consider it the best song of his I’ve heard and this is because it seems honest and describes something I think is admirable, love of family. Check it out and see if you agree.