Tyler Childers is one of those artists that just about every music fan likes, even if they primarily dabble in mainstream country, and even if they’re are not particularly fans of country music at all.
Hailing from the coal country of Kentucky, Childers’ years of hard work and heavy touring have culminated in the lyrical authenticity and iconic sound millions have come to love. Now he is finally seeing the hard work pay off, experiencing tremendous international success and recognition over the last few years… much so that his album Purgatoryjust received Gold Certification.
Despite this, Childers is still not being played on country radio, which is absolutely ridiculous. Nevertheless, his music has reached fans of all music, not just the fans of non-mainstream country. Post Malone has even been seen rocking a Tyler Childers t-shirt.
For those of you who love Childers, but have not totally explored the underappreciated world of similar music, here are 10 artists every Tyler Childers fan should check out.
One of the most popular artists on this list, Zach Bryan’s grassroots rise to country music fame has been meteoric. Bryan’s humble personality, thoughtful crafted lyrics, and blue collar music have drawn many comparisons to Childers. With two full albums, an EP, and even more unreleased songs on YouTube, Bryan has an extensive catalog full of great songs everyone should explore.
Song Pick: “November Air”
A Kentucky native herself, Kelsey Waldon has released a number of singles, a couple of live EPs, and four albums of pure country music.
Song Pick: “Kentucky, 1988”
The last artist signed to the late John Prine’s label Oh Boy records, Arlo McKinley is the real deal, and much of his song content is similar to that of some of Childers’ older stuff. They also happen to share a manager.
Song Pick: “Bag of Pills”
Charles Wesley Godwin
Perhaps the most similar of any of these artists to Childers, Charles Wesley Godwin grew up in the neighboring state of West Virginia, experiencing similar aspects of the Appalachian region. With only one album released, more great music is sure to come from Godwin.
Song Pick: “Seneca Creek”
Emily Scott Robinson
Emily Scott Robinson has one of the best voices in music, and her second album Traveling Mercies was easily one of the most underrated albums of 2019.
Song Pick: “Better With Time”
Vincent Neil Emmerson
One of the many underappreciated artists doing all they can to keep real country music alive, Emmerson’s limited catalog is overshadowed by his exceptional 2019 album Fried Chicken and Evil Women.
Song Pick: “Letters on the Marquee”
Yet another artist on this list hailing from Kentucky, Nicholas Jamerson grew up just 20 minutes down the road from Childers’ hometown of Paintsville. The influence of the region and the issues those who live there face are just as important to Jamerson’s music as Childers’. You may recognize Jamerson as one half of the great Kentucky duo, Sundy Best.
Song Pick: “Floyd County All-Star”
From Beattysville, Kentucky, Ian Noe’s is another artist whose music is heavily influenced by his upbringing in the same region as Childers.
Song Pick: “Letter to Madeleine”
Benjamin Tod/Lost Dog Street Band
Benjamin Tod has released music as a solo artist, as well as with the band Lost Dog Street Band which he formed with his wife, Ashley Mae. Tod has lived a life of struggle, on his own for most of his teenage years hopping trains to see the country and playing music wherever he could. These experiences have brought a degree of authenticity to his music that is unmatched by many.
Song Pick: “September Doves”
Margo Price has been a mainstay on the Americana scene over the last 15 years, and she has drawn comparisons to all time greats like Emmylou Harris and Loretta Lynn. Early on in her career, her backing band included Sturgill Simpson, who produced Childers’ Purgatory and Country Squire.