“Americana Ain’t No Part Of Nothin'” – Relive Tyler Childers 2018 Americana Music Honors & Awards Speech

Tyler Childers country music
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No one does it quite like Tyler Childers.

In light of this year’s Americana Music Honors & Award nominees being announced, I thought it was the perfect time to revisit Tyler Childers’ legendary 2018 Emerging Artist acceptance speech… where he essentially sh*ts all over the term “Americana.”

Last year, Childers won Album of the Year for Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven? and is nominated again this year for Rustin’ In The Rain, as well as Song of the Year and Artist of the Year. The trifecta.

Although Childers was not there last year for the awards ceremony, what he preached during his 2018 acceptance speech will live on forever and ever. It’s legendary.

Prior to stepping foot on stage, the host for the evening  mispronounced his name multiple times, which did not lead things off on a strong note. When Childers (pronounced Chill-ders, not Child-ers) stepped up for his speech, he was not afraid to let people know not only his name (and I bet it was burned into the audiences’ brains) but also what he thought about the term “Americana”

“It crawls up my spine… my name is Tyler Childers. I am an Appalachian artist from the foothills of East Kentucky and I play country music. 

As a man who identifies as a country music singer, I feel Americana ain’t no part of nothin’. It is a distraction from the issues that we are facing on a bigger level as country music singers. It kind of feels like ‘Purgatory’.”  

With that, he said goodnight and goodbye and walked off the stage. Let it be known, even to this day, that Childers is 100% a country music artist and one of the best in the business with that.

And no shade to the Americana Awards, many of my favorite country music artists have been relegated to the weird “Americana” label, which sorta just feel like a way to recognize country music artists who don’t get attention from the mainstream.

And Sturgill Simpson once famously said he never played a note of Americana music in his life. Responding to a comment on Instagram about his bluegrass albums, he said:

“The last thing music or musicians need is another ‘genre,’ especially one defined by empty semantics that throws us in an industry gutter appropriating any and everything with the slightest amount of steam for its own self-promotion/membership fees all while simultaneously placing a glass ceiling on our careers.

I love all types of music, and I mostly sing and play country, bluegrass, & rock n’ roll music… but I have never played a note of Americana in my entire life.”

Hard to argue with that synopsis…

Take it away Timmy Tyler:

After the awards show that year, he sat down with World Cafe and discussed his speech. Knowing that Childers has always marched to his own drum, no one changed his mind about how he categorizes his sound.

“It was at the Ryman which is the Mother Church of Country Music and they’re holding the Americana Awards which I feel is a big hindrance in maintaining more true-to-roots country music.

And everybody always talks about the state of country music and puts down commercial country and says ‘somethings gotta be done’ and ‘we need to be elevating artists that are doing more traditional country’ but then were not calling those artists country artists, they’re getting put into this Americana thing.

It is what it is, and I don’t really know how to define what Americana is. We’re our own thing; it’s a new time, and I don’t know what it’s called, but I’ve been calling it country, you know? I think a lot of times it’s kind of become just a costume.”


Just for fun, check out his performance of “Nose On The Grindstone” from that evening.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock