Tyler Childers Performs “Universal Sound” (A Song About West Virginia) At Kentucky Governor’s Inauguration

Tyler Childers

Eh, close enough.

Tyler Childers is a proud son of the state of Kentucky, growing up in a small town Lawrence County on the eastern side of the Bluegrass State.

So of course it only made sense for the Grammy-nominated superstar to perform at the governor’s inauguration in his home state.

Governor Andy Beshear was inaugurated today for a second term after beating Republican state Attorney General Daniel Cameron in the November election. And ahead of the swearing-in ceremony, Beshear spoke about wanting to have Childers be a part of the big day.

According to Beshear, he’s gotten to know Childers after he performed at an Appalachian Regional Commission conference, and the governor praised the singer and songwriter for serving as an ambassador for the Bluegrass State:

“What we’re seeing right now is, whether it is in entertainment or in other areas, so many Kentuckians not only succeeding but really proud of being a Kentuckian.

And I think that’s really important, as we are rewriting our history and we’re writing a new future.”

Beshear said Childers, who recently released his album Rustin’ In the Rain and received five Grammy Award nominations, including nods for Best Country Album and a nomination for Best Country Song for “In Your Love,” is a special talent for the state of Kentucky:

“With him up for a Grammy this year, what a great story it says about Kentucky and Kentuckians, and the talent that we have here. Tyler’s music…is so unique, and I think that’s a pretty special thing for this state.”

And today during the ceremony, Childers, alongside a guitar and fiddle player, treated the crowd to an acoustic performance of “Universal Sound,” from his 2017 album Purgatory.

The song’s one of my favorites that Childers has ever released – and apparently it’s Beshear’s favorite too, which is the reason for the song choice.

But as some people online pointed out, the song is actually set in West Virginia, not Kentucky, as evidenced by the opening lines that reference the Cranberry Glades in Pocahontas County, West Virginia.

Of course the song isn’t so much ABOUT West Virginia as it is set in the Mountain State: It’s really an anthem about the meditative state of stopping to listen to the sounds of the world around you.

And either way, it’s one of Childers’ best, so any time he decides to break it out, I’m happy.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock