Few if any albums this year from a new artist have arrived with more impact than Purgatory by Tyler Childers. The debut, produced by Sturgill Simpson, shot to number one on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart and reached #6 for albums overall in the week since its August 4 release.
The album is described as a song cycle that takes an unsentimental look at “the people, landmarks and legendary moments from Childers’ childhood home in Lawrence County, KY”
In “Whitehouse Road” for example, we meet a sketchy character - a wild cat, Childers called him in a Rolling Stone interview, who tells “tall tales and flat out lies.” It’s deep country music from a place that has a rich history in the genre.
“Tyler Childers is a perfect artist for this time.”
Writer Kyle Coroneos, founder and blogger at Saving Country Music says Childers has been generating serious buzz among his readers for a couple of years.
Now Childers is riding a wave of independent, sharp-eyed songwriters from Kentucky, a list that includes Simpson, Chris Stapleton, Kelsey Waldon and Angaleena Presley.
“People are looking for those authentic voices from coal country, and Tyler embodies that so well with his music and his voice,” says Coroneos. “It’s sort of the right guy for the right time now. I think if he’d put this out two years ago or three years ago maybe it would have done well but I don’t think it would have done as well as it’s doing right now.”
Drummer Miles Miller made the connection between Childers and Sturgill Simpson. They hit it off and recruited former Johnny Cash recording engineer David Ferguson for sessions at the latter’s famed Butcher Shoppe studio. The results are being hailed as powerful, truthful and tuneful.
Starting Sept. 11, Childers will play a three Monday residency at The Basement in Nashville, as well as a Sept. 14 showcase at AmericanaFest.