Tyler Childers was welcomed back to Eastern, KY with open arms and loud voices singing his songs. I had the opportunity to see Childers on the opening night of his three night run at the Appalachian Wireless Center in Pikeville, KY, where Childers was celebrating the upcoming New Year and the end of his Country Squire tour.
Fresh off of a Grammy nomination and an announcement of a 2020 tour with Sturgill Simpson, Tyler Childers and the Food Stamps are definitely “eatin’ big time.” Childers did a mix of old and new songs, with the crowd singing along to each of them. The band (consisting of Rod Elkins, Chase Lewis, Craig Burletic, Jesse Wells, and James Barker) was on fire as always, playing music that sounds much closer to bands of a different era than the sounds of their modern contemporaries. The unreleased “Redneck Rodeo” and fan favorite “Feathered Indians” are always a treat whenever he plays them live, and the songs from his newest album “Country Squire,” “Bus Route,” and “Ever Lovin’ Hand” are sung with a playfulness and joy.
The best moment of the night was towards the end when he sang his most touching song “Follow You to Virgie” and with Virgie being about 20 minutes from Pikeville, the crowd nearly drowned out his voice singing it with him. Like many Kentuckians before him, Childers sings songs that are universal in theme but specific to Kentucky. While his songs resonate with people of all walks of life, and they are becoming American classics, it is incredibly special to see Childers sing his songs to people who know exactly what he is referencing when he sings about things specific to this part of the country.
Childers is certainly a star on the rise and 2020 will only be bigger for him, any chance you get, definitely go see him before all his shows sell out next year. https://tylerchildersmusic.com