Three songwriters from Kentucky know for stirring the country music pot all came together collectively this Saturday (8-4) at the Hinterland Music Festival at the Avenue of the Saints Amphitheater in Saint Charlies, Iowa. Part of a two-day festival that also featured country and roots heavyweights Margo Price and Blackberry Smoke, one the fest’s most most memorable moments came during the set of Tyler Childers in the early afternoon when at one point both Sturgill Simpson and Wheeler Walker Jr., joined Tyler on stage. The trio performed the non family-friendly Wheeler Walker Jr. song “Sit On My Face” to rousing applause. Sturgill was sitting in with Tyler’s band on guitar during the set, and was headlining the festival.
Sturgill Simpson produced Tyler Childer’s well-received debut album Purgatory and helped put him on the map, and also helped hook up Wheeler Walker Jr. with producer Dave Cobb and distributor Thirty Tigers to release his incendiary and off-color music. Incidentally, Walker Jr. regularly asserts that Sturgill Simpson is a CIA agent. The three men are considered a big part of the country music insurgency going on in Kentucky.
Wheeler Walker Jr., whose set was performed on the festival’s camping stage, took to Twitter late Saturday complain in his customary salty language about the fest. “Fuck [Hinterland’s] lack of security. I’m gonna sue the living fuck out of them. I’ve got a huge fucking Hollywood lawyer. I will own that festival in a week. I promise you that. Seven days from now that dump will be called WheelerFest.”
Country revivalist Joshua Hedley was also scheduled to play Hinterland after playing Pickathon in Portland, OR earlier this weekend. But a delayed flight kept him from attending.