Tyler Childers – Purgatory (album review)

by Woody on August 4, 2017

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A few years back, I saw Jason Isbell & Amanda Shires perform in the backyard of The Blackheart during SXSW. The music was arresting, literally demanding your attention. It was clear that his music had moved on to a different plane. That’s happened a couple of times these last few years when hearing an artist for the first time – Margo & Sturgill immediately jump to mind.

Reason I bring that all up is I had that same reaction with Tyler Chiders and his full-length debut, Purgatory. While I am new to his music, the Kentucky born Childers has been around for a few years. That led to him hooking up with Sturgill Simpson to co-produce his album with David Ferguson.

Throughout the whole of Purgatory, Childers tells stories of Eastern Kentucky. Whether it be a tale of murder, the Appalachian-folk Banded Clovis; the title track; a bluegrass take of a Christian that lost his way; or a country-thumper in Whitehorse Road in which the protagonist tells tales of his hell-raising; Childers delivers the goods.

Purgatory is a stunning debut. One that propels him into the rarefied air of Isbell, Price and Sturgill. To imagine where his career will head is enough to make you dizzy.

Follow me on Twitter at @WoodyHearYa or @HearYa

Tyler Childers is here

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