Tyler Childers is the face of the new wave of country music, whether he likes or not.
His latest album (excluding Long Violent History, a mostly instrumental project) was the 2019 release Country Squire, which showcased his ability to move beyond the more raw sounds of Bottles and Bibles and Purgatory into full production territory, while staying true to the traditional instrumentation and style that made him who he is in the first place.
The album featured the fan favorite “All Your’n,” but I’ve long said the most underrated song was “Creeker,” a real-life look at the frustrations of a small-town man stuck in the big city (for Tyler, that city was Chicago).
He recently played this song at the Hinterland Music Festival in Iowa and MY GOODNESS did he crush it.
Looking younger than ever and slightly naked without the guitar in his hand, he delivered a phenomenal performance of the song and, oh boy, did I miss hearing live Childers videos.
It’s pretty obvious he’s been off the booze for quite awhile now, as the clarity in his eyes and life in his face is a stark comparison to the look we’ve seen in years past. It took a backseat to the powerful message of his “Long Violent History” explanation, but he did mention that he had been sober for the past 6 months at the time of the video. And now, the man just looks lean and he looks healthy… you love to see it.
But after the long layoff of COVID, it’s crystal clear that one thing is true… there are different levels in this whole music thing… and he’s on the highest one.
I speak for many, many people when I say, we cannot wait for some new Childers music…