I’m a fan of Tyler Childers’ music. He’s a singer songwriter with an interesting voice and talent for producing lively melodies. And he tells stories about modern Appalachia. Stories about country people and stories about himself. One of my favorites of his songs is a murder ballad on his Purgatory album called Banded Clovis. His lyrics paint an engaging picture of the murderer at the moment when greed and desperation over comes camaraderie and decency.
Childers’ new album Country Squire is in the same cast as Purgatory. It has songs that describe the life of every day folks in Appalachia and also has more autobiographical songs about his life on the road as a musician. For me these personal songs are not as compelling because that lifestyle doesn’t resonate with how I live. But the other songs are more interesting to me. So, unsurprisingly the three songs I like best on the album are of this type; Creeker, Peace of Mind and Matthew. They’re just stories of everyday people living everyday lives. But Childers is able to generate good country songs with it. The other six songs have a number of what I called above autobiographical songs and here it’s more hit or miss. “Country Squire” and “Bus Route” are pretty good. But “Ever Lovin’ Hand” I’ll take a pass on. The musicality is fine but the story is too odd for me.
So if you’re a Tyler Childers fan you’ll like Country Squire. If you’re a country music fan give it a try but I would start with his Purgatory album first. I think it’s a better introduction to his range of songs.