Born and raised in East Kentucky, Tyler Childers has not forgotten his roots. Childers grew up on southern gospel and trucker music, building a strong fan-base in his home state.
This was all before recording with Grammy-winner, Sturgill Simpson, and Johnny Cash's engineer, David Ferguson. The producing duo has brought out smoky vocals and soulful lyrics from Childers. His new LP, Purgatory, has a unique sound, reminiscent of Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit and Old Crow Medicine Show.
Childers’ Purgatory takes you through his childhood growing up in the mountains of East Kentucky. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Childers talks about the region’s influence on his songwriting, “The Appalachian culture and the way the people in this region talk, the sayings they have, it all lends itself to good songs. Everything they say is a song line.” Childers puts Appalachian life into lyrics in his new song “Whitehouse Road.”
Childers makes it clear that he wants to showcase his roots while also maintaining a fresh sound that young audiences can connect with. “I was writing an album about being in the mountains," Childers said in an interview. “I wanted it to have that gritty mountain sound. But at the same time, I wanted a more modern version of it that a younger generation can listen to—the people I grew up with, something I'd want to listen to."
Purgatory also showcases Childers’ complexity. In “Lady May,” Childers sings to a lover, begging her to admit her love for him. The song is dripping with emotion and features Childers on acoustic guitar while soulfully crooning. His honest and tender performance shows his versatility.
Purgatory track listing:
- I Swear (To God)
- Feathered Indians
- Born Again
- Whitehouse Road
- Banded Clovis
- Honky Tonk Flame
- Universal Sound
- Lady May