How Did Tyler Childers Rope Sturgill Simpson Into Producing His Upcoming Record?
For the folks dialed into the regional country scene in Kentucky, they don’t need any explanation or convincing that Tyler Childers could be the next big thing in traditional/independent country music. They’ve seen him grow up on Kentucky’s club stages and outdoor festivals as someone with the country music qualities you can’t just learn and practice, but you’re either born with, or not. Many of the same qualities are what locals saw in Kentucky native Sturgill Simpson as he was coming up with his band Sunday Valley some years ago when the rest of the music world remained utterly clueless.
Sturgill Simpson is such an enigma, to see his name crop up as the producer on the album from someone else is shocking and intriguing, even if you’re not a 100% devotee to Simpson’s music. Sturgill Simpson doesn’t get involved in bullshit. That’s how he took a fledgling music career and went on to win a Grammy for Best Country Album, and be nominated for the overall Album of the Year. Stugill has made a career out of saying “no” to reporters, industry professionals, and opportunities some artists would kill for. If Sturgill Simpson is lending his name and time to a project, you know it’s going to be worthy of attention.
But how did it happen, aside from geographical ties between Tyler Childers and Sturgill? Tyler was introduced to Simpson by Sturgill’s drummer and bandleader, Miles Miller, who is also a Kentucky native. Along with being a drummer, Miles is an multi-instrumentalist, and saw something in Childers that he thought deserved a greater attention, enough so to sell the idea to Sturgill, and Sturgill bought.
David Ferguson, who’s worked on albums from Johnny Cash as well as Sturgill’s projects, and who is the mastermind of Nashville’s recording studio The Butcher Shoppe in the northern portion of town where Tyler Childer’s upcoming album Purgatory was recorded, was also brought onto the project as a producer. The Butcher Shoppe is also the compound where Sturgill shares an office space with John Prine. Though not as sexy of a name as Sturgill Simpson to some, David Ferguson is as seasoned as a producer and recording engineer as you will find.
“I am extremely grateful for Miles Miller introducing me to Sturgill Simpson, and also for Sturgill and David Ferguson taking the time to work with me,” says Tyler Childers. “I think we both wanted to make an album for east Kentucky, and I reckon that’s what we did. It’s not about rock, or grass, or country…it’s just hollerin’ in the mountains and stirring shit up! The band Sturgill and David put together was an all-star cast, and an honor to work with and learn from. I hope to do it again, but once is more than most are blessed with. For that I am thankful.”
The band assembled for the album includes well-known fiddle player Stuart Duncan, guitar and pedal steel player Russ Pahl, as well as Miles Miller on drums, Sturgill on acoustic guitar and backing vocals, among other players.
READ: You’re Gonna Want To Be On Top Of This Tyler Childers “Purgatory” Album
Tyler Childers will also be on tour most of the summer, including multiple dates with the Yonder Mountain String Band, and Sammy Brue.
Pre-Order Tyler Childers’ Purgatory
June 13, 2017 @ 6:40 pm
Can’t say it enough, I’m happy others are finally getting the opportunity to hear someone I’ve heard the last several years in Lexington. Saw Tyler play last week at Nelsonville and overheard a couple ask “why haven’t we heard of him before” I’m sure many people will be saying that. I can’t wait for this album
June 13, 2017 @ 6:45 pm
Do you remember Great Plains? Didn’t Russ play in that band?
June 14, 2017 @ 6:24 am
Yes, Russ Pahl was in Great Plains. I recall it was a pretty cool band that also included Jack Sundrud. I bought their one and only album. Russ has continued with studio session work. He’s an amazing and tastefully talented steel guitarist. You can look him up on Facebook.
June 14, 2017 @ 6:47 am
I had that CD. Not sure if I still do. I loved a song on it called “Picture of You”. At the time, I was shocked that a major Nashville label put that album out. They were like a real band that played their own instruments…
June 13, 2017 @ 7:11 pm
I am really intrigued by this guy. I can’t say that I am a fan of the first song from this album that he put out, but I am really excited to hear the rest. Regardless of what I think of the song, this dude definitely “has it.”
Sturgill Simpson producing it just makes it that much more intriguing.
June 13, 2017 @ 8:26 pm
Anyone know of a link to pre-order the album?
June 13, 2017 @ 8:33 pm
I haven’t seen any official pre-orders or bundles yet, but it is available for pre-order on Amazon and iTunes:
June 13, 2017 @ 9:06 pm
Thanks. Maybe he’ll get a personal site up so I can do a direct order.
June 13, 2017 @ 9:51 pm
This is one of my favorite Tyler clips. He was around 17-18 yrs old here. Copy & Paste it into your browser bar and be happy you did.
June 14, 2017 @ 10:10 am
Definitely my favorite song of his, funny to see him in his self declared “Opie Taylor” phase there. I’m still floored that a teenager wrote that song.
June 14, 2017 @ 4:53 am
I’m so glad the rest of the world will get to know and appreciate what those of us in Kentucky and West Virginia (where he also has a large following) have known for years. The album sounds great. You’re gonna love it!
If you’d like to join his official fan group on Facebook, you can do so here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/tylerchildersfans/ Full disclosure, I’m one of the Admins.
June 14, 2017 @ 7:47 am
Miles Miller playing drums on my album??
I’d be happy as a pig in the mud too.
June 14, 2017 @ 1:42 pm
Kentucky is just kicking it with musicians. I’m a proud ex-Texan, and I love the Lone Star guys and gals but it’s just amazing what’s coming out of KY right now.
June 14, 2017 @ 5:35 pm
Dry Land Fish. That is how this happened. Dry Land Fish brought them together. I seen it happen.
June 16, 2017 @ 3:22 pm
Just saw this on his facebook page (posted last week): “After four years and three recording sessions…you can now see what Mr. Simpson, the fellers, and I cut live in David Ferguson’s Butcher Shoppe in two days. Well, you can preorder to see it in 2 months.” Pretty cool. Looks like Sturg had him working under his frantic studio timeframe!
June 23, 2017 @ 7:27 pm
I have been listening to the Red Barn Radio version of “White House Road” on repeat the past couple days and I consider it flawless… But this new version that Sturgill produced is even better. This album is gonna be a monster.
June 27, 2017 @ 1:26 pm
All those other versions of white house road are by far better than the album version. It sounds like a synth in the background of decent bluegrass music. Getting even worse feeling now. Really just Tyler and his guitar is all he really needed, or the backing band from the videos, the welfare parade food stamps whatever they were pretty good.
June 29, 2017 @ 1:03 pm
I live in London England and discovered Colter Wall, Tyler Childers (by way of their ‘Fraulein’ duet) and Sammy Brue this week. To top it off, Colter and Tyler are playing London shows over the summer. I haven’t been this exciting since I discovered Justin Townes Earle just after his first album.