You’re Gonna Want To Be on Top of Tyler Childers’ “Purgatory” Album Produced By Sturgill Simpson
Over the decade of conducting business under the heading of “Saving Country Music,” no artist has created more anticipation and intrigue into what their future prospects may be, yet with so few national accomplishments and recognition than Tyler Childers. It’s a weekly, sometimes daily occurrence where SCM headquarters receives a request, “What’s going on with Tyler Childers?”
Tyler’s recorded output is relegated to an album released way back in 2011, and a couple of live Red Barn Radio sessions. Yet even with a lack of new material, from people in his home state of Kentucky and beyond seeing this red-haired country songwriter perform in front of acts such as Colter Wall and Kelsey Waldon, and on programs such as NPR’s Mountain Stage, there has been an incredible groundswell of interest in what Tyler Childers may develop into if he’s just given a fair chance.
Now Childers is receiving that chance, and in a big way. Recently signed with Thirty Tigers, and recruiting Grammy Award-winning fellow Kentuckian Sturgill Simpson as producer, Tyler Childers will release his long-awaited sophomore album Purgatory on August 4th. Also helping on the album is David Ferguson, who is well-known for his work with Johnny Cash, and Sturgill. Ahead of the release, Childers has released the acoustic song “Lady May” (listen below).
The album is said to be “… a semiautobiographical sketch of Childers’ growth from wayward youth to happily married man, told in the tradition of a Southern gothic novel with a classic noir antihero who may just be irredeemable. Purgatory is a chiaroscuro painting with darkness framing light in high relief. There’s catharsis and redemption. Sin and temptation. Murder and deceit. Demons and angels. Moonshine and cocaine. So much moonshine and cocaine. All played out on the large, colorful canvas of Eastern Kentucky.”
Expect this to be one of the biggest, most highly talked-about releases in independent country of the late summer. Forget that Sturgill Simpson emerges as a producer for the first time on a record without his name on it, the anticipation Childers has built up over the last few years should drive interest in Purgatory to a fevered pitch. Now 26-years-old and married, Childers looks to enter the music space as reinforcements to an already upsurging movement challenging the norms of Nashville.
- I Swear (to God)
- Feathered Indians
- Born Again
- Whitehouse Road
- Banded Clovis
- Universal Sound
- Honky Tonk Flame
- Lady May
June 8, 2017 @ 9:50 am
Never heard of him…until now. I can’t wait for this album, and I’m going out right now to find everything released prior. Thanks!
June 8, 2017 @ 9:55 am
I cannot freaking wait to hear this!!!!
Slightly disappointed he played this really cool song live a couple months ago I think it was called “School Bus” or something like that I wish it was on the track list for this release. Anyone got YouTube of this one?
June 8, 2017 @ 9:56 am
He’s very well known in KY WV and OH. Your gonna be hooked very soon
June 8, 2017 @ 9:57 am
Looking forward to this one. That has to be fun working with Sturgill as a producer. Show up to the studio on the first day…
Sturgill – “Ok folks, let’s get to work, we have a lot to get done in the next 5 days!”
Everyone else – “wait…what?”
Sturgill – “you mean that timeline aint normal?”
June 9, 2017 @ 8:06 pm
Tyler said on his Facebook page that it was recorded in 3 sessions over 2 days so you’re not far off.
June 8, 2017 @ 9:58 am
God damn you folks in Kentucky are on a hot streak…
June 8, 2017 @ 1:43 pm
Couldn’t have said it better. What Texas does for songwriting Kentucky does for vocals. Good God.
June 8, 2017 @ 2:10 pm
Yip. Without KY, there’d be a huge hole in country music. Keith Whitley, Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe, Ricky Skaggs, Dwight Yoakam, Patty Loveless, The Judds, Merle Travis, John Michael Montgomery, Chris Knight, and of course more recently Sturgill, Stapleton, Childers, Angeleena Presley. Just to name a few. I think it’s the bourbon.
June 8, 2017 @ 2:38 pm
Kelsey Waldon had one of my favorite records from last year too. Gonna have to make a trip out there and check out this magic bourbon for myself one day!
June 8, 2017 @ 2:49 pm
As a proud Canadian, I should probably drink Crown and other homegrown ryes, but if it ain’t made with Kentucky corn, git it out ma face! Of course if there’s any good swill coming out of Saskatchewan, I may have to partake. Somethin going on out there, too.
June 8, 2017 @ 9:59 am
Can’t wait to hear the horn arrangements.
June 8, 2017 @ 2:40 pm
Was it reported that their will be horn arrangements?
June 8, 2017 @ 2:48 pm
I think that was snark based on Sturgill’s last album. No horns on the 5 tracks that I’ve heard so far.
June 8, 2017 @ 6:20 pm
Understood. Just trying to point out the absurdity of the original comment!
June 11, 2017 @ 10:21 am
You’ve heard 5 album cuts? How?
I’ve heard all of these songs countless times in a live setting
June 11, 2017 @ 6:50 pm
Tyler gave me and a few friends a listen before his show a couple months ago.
June 8, 2017 @ 7:57 pm
Yes jerkoff. It has been reported. The media has been paying rapt attention to the horn issue. It has also been widely reported that you lick your dog’s asshole. Imbecile.
June 8, 2017 @ 8:15 pm
First off, I haven’t seen anything about horns on the Tyler Childers album, but maybe there are some, who knows? But do me a favor BJones and don’t be accosting my other commenters for asking serious questions.
Sturgill isn’t even touring with the horns anymore.
June 8, 2017 @ 8:19 pm
Please tell us what “issue” is there with horns, pendejo.
June 8, 2017 @ 7:12 pm
Yawn. Lazy and cheap. Of course Western swing didn’t come out of jazz and never included trumpet or Sax. Of course. No country legends used horns. Of course.
Look you might not like horns and that’s cool; but the next person to insinuate that Sturgill went away from country because he used horns should be terminated imo.
June 8, 2017 @ 11:32 pm
Merle Haggard used horns and sax in several songs. If he’s not a legend in your book then leave and don’t come back.
June 10, 2017 @ 9:15 am
I think he is being facetious. Its replying to BJones comment.
June 9, 2017 @ 5:40 am
Yeah, that idiot Johnny Cash using stupid horns in that dumb dumb song “Ring Of Fire”, what a loser he was!
June 9, 2017 @ 9:20 am
Thank god Mike Ness and Social D dumped the horns and went with straight up ripping guitar when they covered it. Of course, the song was no longer country at that point, it was good ol’ So Cal punk.
June 9, 2017 @ 9:23 am
PS JWT I realize you were being sarcastic and I was attempting to throw in my own supporting sarcasm. Cash’s version can’t be topped, the horns make that version. …but the Social D version rocks balls, check it out if you haven’t heard it!
June 8, 2017 @ 10:06 am
I hadn’t heard of him either. Has a voice similar to Brent Cobb. Thanks
I miss Stevie Gaines
June 8, 2017 @ 12:59 pm
I was thinking Hayes Carll
June 13, 2017 @ 10:50 pm
I also heard a little Hayes Carll, especially in the crack of his voice. He also reminds me of “Heartbreaker” era Ryan Adams when he goes soft to a whisper. This is an album I will absolutely purchase based upon one listen of the embedded track.
Toby in AK
June 8, 2017 @ 1:05 pm
June 8, 2017 @ 10:15 am
Been anticipating this one for a couple years now. Can’t wait to see him in Columbia, MO on Sunday. Next time I get to see him his tickets won’t be 8 dollars anymore. Great news all around.
June 8, 2017 @ 10:16 am
Can’t wait to hear the studio version of White House Road to see if it’s different sonically. The version on Live at Red Barn Radio is killer.
“Early in the morning when the sun does rise. Layin’ in the bed with bloodshot eyes. Late in the evening when the sun sinks low. That’s about the time my rooster crows.”
June 8, 2017 @ 11:06 am
It’s a bit different, definitely the track with the most Sturgill influence out of the 5 I’ve heard so far.
June 8, 2017 @ 10:23 am
He has played in my hometown in West Virginia for years and it’s been really cool watching him grow as a songwriter and seeing the audience size get bigger and bigger. I also really dig his commitment to Appalachia – he reps the region well and gives us all someone to root for. Hope this album is a big breakthrough.
June 8, 2017 @ 10:45 am
A double edged sword this website proves to be. On one hand I hear about musicians I never would have otherwise. On the other I spend a LOT more money on albums than I ever did before stumbling here a few years ago.
June 8, 2017 @ 10:54 am
first i’ve heard of this but i’m sold
June 8, 2017 @ 10:58 am
Can’t wait for this. Tyler is one of my favorite songwriters and a valiant defender of the Commonwealth. I can’t wait to hear what he and Stu cooked up.
June 8, 2017 @ 11:08 am
Always blown away by this dude. He is showing Isbell theres still more misery and blue left, with this acoustic song. Sturgill producing kinda scares me, but as long as he stays away from the sound scapes of asgte, he would have to be a baffoon to mess up this guys material. Take a cue from cobb .
June 8, 2017 @ 12:35 pm
Let’s be clear. The only reason Dave Cobb has an above average career is because he was able to work with Sturgill. Isbell doesn’t need much help in producing his sound & Stapleton would have never chose Cobb if it wasn’t for Sturgill’s metamodern. This Childers album only solidifies that Sturgill is responsible for the sound that so many artists chased Cobb to make.
June 8, 2017 @ 12:55 pm
I agree witg the majority of your response. The only thing produced by cobb i like is isbell and simpson. And as you said isbell doesnt sound a lot differeny than his earlier career. But metamodern is very good, if you listen to it with headphones on its almost like a country led zeppelin experience. I think if sturgill can do the same for tyler, it could be excellent.
Tyler childers is high lonesome country blues, the same lightning Isbell caught and let go of. Personally its my favorite kind, and what is lacking from new isbell material.
But i dont think Sturgill was independently responsible for the sound of metamodern. It was one of those times when everything came together perfectly.
June 8, 2017 @ 2:45 pm
I don’t think anyone would expect Sturgill to take anywhere nearly the same approach with Childers as he did with ASGTE….which was a one off concept album with strong and deliberate tributes to sturgill’s love for Motown, R&B, etc. (note: it is still a damn good COUNTRY album for all the naysayers). Pushing Childers down that completely different path would be a mistake, and not one that I could see Sturgill making.
June 11, 2017 @ 8:06 am
I really don’t get the Dave Cobb bashing (maybe not bashing, but certainly discredit) I have seen around here of late. Southern Family destroys your argument about “above average”. That album is a producer’s job (pull/push the best from an artist) done to perfection. His work with WWJ, Whiskey Myers, Brent, Colter…….
I just don’t get it.
June 12, 2017 @ 7:14 pm
It’s not bashing. Cobb is the first to admit that his talent is recreating sounds on other records. That’s why Sturgill’s first album sounds so much like a Waylon record. Waylon is a huge influence on Cobb. Sturgill was even surprised when the media compared him to Waylon & people thought he was full of shit when he said he wasn’t one of his big influences, but in reality that’s where Cobb was leading it. Metamodern was fresh because Sturgill took the reigns. He was done with all the throwback country and started to make the album he heard in his head. I mean he basically spells it out in Just Let Go. And I think it’s worth mentioning in my opinion, there’s been a stall in new creativity in this style of country because people (the author of this site for one) proposed that Cobb has the magic touch. Artists lined up in droves to work with this guy & you got ok records because he has taste & an ear for recreating sounds. I mean tell me Tennessee Whiskey isn’t Etta James – Id rather go blind. That’s not enough to revolutionize a stagnant industry. I think that time and many records proved Cobb wasn’t magic, rather a detour for many artists who are better off listening to themselves in all their weirdness to create a future for country music. I think that’s what this Tyler record is.
June 8, 2017 @ 11:12 am
Excited for this. Came across Tyler Childers on Spotify. Love Charleston Girl. Hate that I missed Tyler opening for Billy Joe Shaver in Athens a month or so ago.
June 8, 2017 @ 1:15 pm
As I said above the Childers album proves the sound everyone chases comes out of Sturgill’s head without a doubt. Cobb was a lucky bystander.
June 8, 2017 @ 4:32 pm
I’m as big of a Sturgill fan as anyone, but those Tyler’s Red Barn Sessions are pure gold. Every song is great on those sessions. Should be interesting to see what they cook up together.
June 9, 2017 @ 7:35 am
Wrong thread, sorry mang.
June 8, 2017 @ 11:21 am
Been a fan of Tyler since he began playing bars around here in Lexington, extremely nice guy and talented as well. His cover of Rock, Salt, and Nails is one of my favorites. I love that my home state had been on a row next one you will be hearing about is Tyler Booth mark it down
June 8, 2017 @ 11:58 am
Cannot wait to listen to this album. Only downside is that it appears “Nose to the Grindstone” didn’t make the cut this album. That track is amazingly written.
June 8, 2017 @ 12:46 pm
Agreed. That’s my favorite song of his and one of his best I think. Hoping it’s retitled or otherwise hiding on here somewhere.
June 8, 2017 @ 12:48 pm
It’s not, I’d imagine he will sprinkle in some of his other older music as he continues to put out new material. Similar to what Sturgill started to do last album with Oh Sara.
June 8, 2017 @ 12:51 pm
Tyler has an unreal voice. I saw him open a show in St. Paul recently and I think I was one of the few there to see him and not the headliner (Mipso). I was talking with my buddy and we likened his voice to a vintage guitar amp. It can be sweet, clean and quiet, but he can also push it into this haunting howl/growl with some grit on it. He’s one of those most unique voices I’ve heard in a long time.
His songs are great, his writing is good, and he plays guitar with some bluegrass influence that adds something to the performance. I shot the breeze with him after his set and he seems like an incredibly humble person who, while being quiet and shy, takes a genuine interest in his fans.
I don’t want to heap to much praise and pressure on him, but he has the tools to go as far as he wants to.
June 8, 2017 @ 1:19 pm
You couldn’t have missed my group of 20 of us in front of the Turf for Tyler’s set. Completely agree with your assessment, great musician and even better guy (the rest of his crew and family are just as nice).
June 8, 2017 @ 1:07 pm
I never heard him till Colter Wall’s album when I was blown away and wondered who the hell is that amazing voice…really looking forward to this!
June 8, 2017 @ 4:06 pm
What song do they do together i missed that? Is it on new album?
June 8, 2017 @ 4:17 pm
It’s on the cover of “Fraulein” on the new album.
June 8, 2017 @ 2:31 pm
Man, I’m happy for Tyler. I’ve been listening to him for a few years now and every time I hear him, I wonder how the hell he hadn’t been signed by Bloodshot/ Thirty Tigers/ New West. Well, looks like he’s finally caught his big break and it couldn’t be more deserved.
June 8, 2017 @ 5:25 pm
(whispers quietly that white man’s burden is very good, backs away from the blog :p )
June 8, 2017 @ 5:31 pm
Awesome. I was hoping Sturgill would start producing other artists.
Wheeler Walker Sr.
June 9, 2017 @ 7:43 am
Randomly just yesterday I was wondering if Sturgill would produce someone else. Totally pleasantly surprised to see this. I’ve never heard of this Tyler Childers until this article. It’s really great. His voice crack is chilling. I can’t wait for this release.
June 8, 2017 @ 6:04 pm
Been listening to this guy for a while now, he is good and I’m looking forward to this release. Sturgill producing it adds a little intrigue also.
June 8, 2017 @ 7:19 pm
I too discovered him from Colter Wall’s album – actually the comment section from that review. Started buying tracks of his just yesterday and I can’t get enough. Needless to say I am really looking forward to August 4th.
June 8, 2017 @ 8:05 pm
Hopefully Sturgill is a better producer than he is a singer or writer, or he’s going to ruin this album.
Honestly I’m surprised that such a talented guy like Tyler, would stoop to this.
June 8, 2017 @ 8:21 pm
And the house troll comes out of his little cave….. Like clockwork!
June 8, 2017 @ 10:30 pm
Did he steal your girlfriend at some point or something? You don’t like him, we get it. I mean we don’t get it, but we heard you the first time.
June 9, 2017 @ 3:57 am
Stoop to what, working with an award-winning star who was personal friends with Merle Haggard and shares an office with John Prine? Take the clown show down the road
June 9, 2017 @ 10:33 am
…and the award for the most consistently obnoxious commenter on this sight goes to….
June 9, 2017 @ 10:46 am
And Honky….don’t miss the Steve Earle article that was just posted. I am sure you will be on there telling everyone how Earle is a “no-talent hack” in no time. It is just amazing how much more honed your countriest-of-country taste in country music is. Light years ahead of everyone else……
June 9, 2017 @ 6:47 am
Did someone mention sturgill? Attack! Attack! Attack!
June 9, 2017 @ 7:05 am
Wow. Thought I was listening to Slaid Cleaves, and that’s a good thing. . . Looking forward to the release.
June 9, 2017 @ 7:24 am
I went to amazon (using the SCM link) and bought Bottles & Bibles – a little too Jack Johnson / Jason Mraz for my taste. But, I’ll go into Purgatory with an open mind.
June 9, 2017 @ 12:14 pm
I cannot wait. I only found him about 4 weeks ago from a “similar artists” on Spotify. Jesus this guy is good.
June 9, 2017 @ 4:06 pm
Now I gotta go buy more music.
June 9, 2017 @ 4:14 pm
As soon as I saw his album cover I knew it was the outline of Lawrence County Ky. These boys carry the soul of Eastern Ky in their throats and I couldn’t be more proud to call it home. Thank you Tyler, Sturgill, and Chris you are already folk heroes in these hills!
June 10, 2017 @ 8:28 pm
This is awesome and I can’t say enough about how great Tyler is. Tyler and his Lovely Lady May are people we all can relate too. Hard working and raised in these hills and hollers. His songwriting skills and his rustic voice are unique and genuine. I have had the pleasure to see his shows several times and they are unforgettable.
His love for these mountains and the folks that live here is definitely something all of us can appreciate. If y’all get a chance to see him perform don’t pass it up. It’s something you will not forget even if your standing in the middle of a field in the pouring rain with moonshine on your breath.
Big Congrats to Tyler and thanks so much for sharing with the world how great these mountains are.
June 11, 2017 @ 10:27 am
I remember sitting on a picnic table listening to Tyler play a solo set underneath a bridge on the Ohio River. He’s been one of my favorites for several years and I’m so glad he’s finally able to make another album. Genius songwriter
July 5, 2017 @ 5:35 pm
tyler childers is a musical angel next to the god of music Sturgill F’N Simpson
John E Evans
May 21, 2018 @ 4:42 am
Not a sturgill. Big time Tyler fan. He will go far.