Tyler Childers

Tyler Childers

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  • Purgatory

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About Tyler Childers

“I sat around a lot with my dad—around hunting clubs, and outside of church and barbershops—listening to fellas older than me tell tall tales and flat-out lies,” Tyler Childers told Apple Music in 2019. “I guess some of that rubbed off on me.” Such understatement is characteristic for the singer, who was born in rural Lancaster County, KY, in 1991. His songwriting captures the deceptive complexity of life in Appalachia, setting his words to an old-school mixture of ’70s honky-tonk, bluegrass, and folk music. The tunes address timeless concerns and modern realities, unsentimentally illustrating how the devastation of poverty can lead to substance abuse or even murder, yet each narrative contains an irrepressible sense of morality regardless of the destruction. He cut his first album, the stripped-down Bottles and Bibles, when he was just 20; the opening track’s narrator’s rapid fall from grace set a compassionate standard that blossomed on his Sturgill Simpson-produced breakthrough album Purgatory in 2017. His fighting spirit has always been complemented with a keen sense of righteousness, a quality made explicit on his surprise 2020 album Long Violent History, a mostly instrumental bluegrass collection that closed with a song expressing empathy for the struggles of the unnamed Black Lives Matter, deftly citing the brutality visited upon Appalachia’s poverty-stricken as a “stand in their shoes” device.

Lawrence County, KY, United States
June 21, 1991

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