After Purgatory was released in 2017, it’s fair to say that fans of Tyler Childers have been anticipating new music from him. It’s safe to assume that fans won’t be disappointed with the new album Country Squire (produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson).
While this album may be the story of a Kentucky boy, there is a bit of New Orleans in Mike Rojas’s piano in the title track. Granted, there is plenty of Kentucky bluegrass – especially in the fiddle part by Stuart Duncan. The interesting thing about this song is that the tempo is upbeat, but the bittersweet theme is that of working hard and longing to buy a house. “Dreaming about the day when I sit by the fire huddled with my honey in a Country Squire.”
Childers shows himself an evocative vocalist in “Creeker”. You can feel the ache when he sings, “He’d rather be dead than alive another minute in this godforsaken town.” It’s hard not to feel something when you hear this song.
“Gemini” is a honky-tonk song with a twist. Miles Miller (drums) and David Roe (bass) lay down a rhythm that will get you moving – just as the rhythm section should in a honky-tonk tune. The twist is in the instrumentation – particularly in the mandolin played by Stuart Duncan and the baritone guitar played by Russ Pahl. Unusual instrumentation or not, it’s hard to sit still when this one plays.
“All Your’n” was released as a single, and it’s easy to see why. The song opens with some soulful organ courtesy of Bobby Wood. Overall this has more of a vibe of a song by Chris Robinson Brotherhood. It’s hard not to sing along when he sings, “I’ll love you ‘til my lungs give out. I ain’t lyin’. I’m all your’n and you’re all mine.” Yes, even if your’n isn’t a regular part of your parlance.
Of the new album, Childers said, “I hope that I’m doing my people justice and I hope that maybe someone from somewhere else can get a glimpse of the life of a Kentucky boy.” These nine songs do justice not only for the people of Kentucky, but also for fans of Childers everywhere. Country Squire will be available everywhere on August 2. Order your copy here.