Sturgill Simpson to play first Twin Cities show in eight years at Roy Wilkins Auditorium

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Cult country star Sturgill Simpson will return to the road in September and will play his first Twin Cities show in eight years when he headlines St. Paul’s Roy Wilkins Auditorium on Sept. 25.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. June 14 through Ticketmaster. Simpson is offering a presale to fans who sign up at He’s also using Ticketmaster’s Face Value Exchange, where tickets can only be resold at the original price. Neither the promoter nor the venue announced prices.

Simpson, 45, grew up in Kentucky and enrolled in the Navy in his senior year of high school. He served for three years and ultimately moved back to Lexington, where he formed the band Sunday Valley. But it was short-lived and Simpson put his focus on building a career at a Salt Lake City railroad freight shipping yard, where he ultimately ended up managing. At the urging of his wife and friends, he tried music again and toured with Sunday Valley until they broke up in 2012.

The following year, Simpson released his solo debut “High Top Mountain,” which earned warm reviews and comparisons to Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. He spent the rest of the decade expanding his audience with new albums and constant touring, including a gig opening for Haggard himself.

After an extended break, Simpson returned to the road in 2021 but cut the outing short due to a vocal cord injury. The upcoming tour supports his sixth solo album “Passage Du Desir,” which is due out July 12 on his own label. He has also adopted a new stage name, Johnny Blue Skies.

The show will be the first major concert at Roy Wilkins in years. Tours have largely avoided it in favor of the similarly sized Armory in downtown Minneapolis, which opened in 2018.

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