Editors’ Notes Kentuckian Tyler Childers has built a fanbase that not only enjoys his music but fiercely identifies with him and the way he represents rural Appalachia. Since his first nationally distributed album, 2017’s Purgatory, he’s built his reputation on his songs’ wild-eyed wit, eye for detail, and tendency to veer between blowing off steam and upholding a sense of moral duty. Just over a year since his previous album, Country Squire, Childers dropped a surprise project, Long Violent History, that isn’t meant to be a showcase of his songwriting. All but one of its nine tracks are string band renditions of old-time tunes featuring his own newly learned fiddle playing and the prowess of his fiddle instructor and bandmate Jesse Wells, scholar of old American music's Black contributions Dom Flemons, and other handpicked musicians. The shambling instrumentals, doused in eerie reverb, are a sort of preamble to the album-closing title track, the lone original. In it, Childers utilizes his wily storytelling abilities and understanding of how to speak directly to his audience to appeal for empathy for Black Americans living under the constant threat of police brutality. Reminding of the mountain tradition of self-preservation, he needles, “How many boys could they haul off this mountain/Shoot full of holes, cuffed and layin' in the streets/'Til we come into town in a stark ravin' anger/Looking for answers and armed to the teeth?”

1
4:08
 
2
2:25
 
3
3:58
 
4
4:38
 
5
4:08
 
6
3:54
 
7
3:09
 
8
2:45
 
9
3:10
 

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