Tyler Childers Stays True To His Roots
The Virginia Sportsman|Fall 2019
Tyler Childers stays true to his roots
Jedd Ferris

At last year’s Americana Music Awards in Nashville, Tyler Childers made it clear what type of music he’s aiming to play. During his acceptance speech for winning Emerging Artist of the Year, Childers said, “As a man who identifies as a country music singer, I feel Americana ain’t no part of nothin’.”

Perhaps Childers is miffed at what the Music Row establishment calls “country” and ultimately feeds to the radio these days, but, genre labels aside, he certainly hasn’t had any trouble finding an audience. The Kentucky tunesmith’s debut album, 2017’s Purgatory, became a viral hit and ultimately made Childers a fastrising roots-music star. His sound and spirit fall in line with the recent work of outlaw revivalists Chris Stapleton and Sturgill Simpson—both fellow Kentuckians. Like his predecessors, Childers has a knack for delivering compelling tales and insights about the hard-luck realities of rural life in the South.

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