Of his debut album, 26 year-old Tyler Childers of Lawrence County, Kentucky says “I wanted it to have that gritty mountain sound but, at the same time, a more modern version that a younger generation can listen to”.
With this goal in mind it was produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson and recorded at Nashville’s Butcher Shoppe Studio with a band that included multi-instrumentalists Stuart Duncan (Nashville Bluegrass Band), Michael J. Henderson and Russ Pahl (Great Plains) plus bassist Michael Bub.
The songs present a semi-autobiographical perspective of Childers' home town charting his growth from wayward youth to a more settled life as a married man.
This is, in part, a spiritual journey from sin and temptation (I Swear (To God)) to catharsis and redemption (Born Again).
Along the way he chases the Honky Tonk Flame, addresses years of teenage rebellion taking drugs and risks in Whitehouse Road ("it's a mighty hard living but it's a damn good feeling to run these roads") before ending with a loving ode to his wife, Senora May (Lady May).
With his folksy voice and country band backing it all tends to sound more old timey than contemporary so is a record that will appeal more to traditionalists than modernists.
Tyler Childers' website