Regular readers know I’m a fan of Tyler Childers. He’s a country singer-songwriter from Eastern Kentucky and he combines interesting vocals, his acoustic guitar playing, an excellent mix of country instrumental accompanists with his very creative lyrics. I especially enjoy his ballads, a stand out being “Banded Clovis” on his “Purgatory” album.
The present review is of a live album from 2013. The eight songs include two that were on other albums, namely “Whitehouse Road” from Purgatory and “Bottles and Bibles” from the album of the same name. Listening to some of the other songs I would say you can tell that they come from an earlier period of his song-writing career. They are simpler and less ambitious in terms of imagery and effect. But they’re good and I take them as an excellent addition to my collection. Interestingly two of the songs were written by other artists, “Rock Salt and Nails” by Bruce Utah Phillips and “Coming Down” by John R. Miller. Now I guess I’ll be forced to look up their stuff. How I suffer for my art.
Anyway, if you like Tyler Childers’ other stuff you’ll almost definitely like this live album. Highly recommended.
There is a lot of bad music out there. And there is a lot of bad country music. One of the ways I try to find good music is by association with other good music. Case in point, a friend of mine at work told me about Colter Wall so I checked out his music and really liked it. One of his songs is a cover of the old song Fraulein. On that song is a second singer and looking him up it turned out to be Tyler Childers. So I checked out his music and really liked it. Looking over Childer’s album Purgatory I noticed it was produced by Sturgill Simpson. Now I knew of Simpson. I had his “Metamodern Sounds In Country Music” album and there was one song on that album called Panbowl that was extremely good but overall I was undecided if I was a fan. But now I decided to take another look at Sturgill’s catalog. I listened to his latest album, “A Sailor’s Guide To Earth,” and didn’t really care for it. Then I went back to his first album, “High Top Mountain,” and really liked it a lot. I’ll listen to a lot of it for the next few days and then I’ll finish up this review. But I can say already it’s a solid country album and Simpson is a good singer songwriter. The fact that I didn’t care for his later stuff as much might mean High Top Mountain is more or less all of his stuff I’ll like. That’s okay. Even finding a whole album you like is a feat worth noting. This album is definitely a win.
I guess there’s nothing unusual about a songwriter being poetical but Childer’s lyrics impress me for some reason.
excerpt from “Tattoos”by Tyler Childers, from his album “Purgatory”
I am now the one she left
A haunted tale for someone else
A little bit about herself
Wherever she is sleeping
Flint strikes out to pierce the dark
Cause a flame from just one spark
Fill the room with smoke so harsh
She exhales a memory
The past is fadin’
Over time, but it’s still hangin’ on for life …
I heard of Tyler Childers by seeing his name as the accompanying singer on Colter Wall’s song Fraulein. Since I liked the sound of his voice on that song, I looked him up (on Amazon.com of course!) and saw that he had a few albums. I ordered his most recent one (Purgatory) and gave it a listen. It’s really very good.
BEGIN RANT – But what the hell is it with these Millennials and drugs? I mean, almost every song is saturated with dope, cocaine and pills. Understand, I know artists always adopt a bohemian outlook on substance abuse but it seems this guy is continuously stoned. How does he manage to write and practice his music with most of his brain soaked with opioids or worse? And if he isn’t really that much of a stoner why are his songs so filled with them? Is it just required from his generation? I grew up in the seventies and drug use was rampant back then but I don’t know, this seems even more exaggerated. – END RANT
So, putting the whole drug thing aside (dirty hippies), I like this Childers guy’s music. Lots of interesting instrumental stuff, good vocals, good story telling. All of the songs are good but if I have to pick a few favorites I’ll go with :
I Swear to God
Honky Tonk Flame
There seems to be a generation of Country musicians who you don’t hear on the radio but play very original stuff that’s more closely related to traditional country music than most of the commercial country you hear on the radio. I wonder if the drug content in the songs is keeping these guys off the radio? Well, whatever it is they are producing good music. I just won’t be playing it around my grandkids. And get off my lawn!!!
Since my readers don’t always stop by every day I figured I’d paste this poll on each post for a while to see what folks call themselves. This is the post the poll came from Who Are We?
… And that got me thinking. Who are the people who read my blog? I thought it might be fun to see what the cross-section looked like. If you feel like saying what you believe in, feel free to leave a comment and/or pick a label from the poll below. I think it might be interesting.