GRAMMY TALK:
TYLER CHILDERS

Tyler Childers hails from Lawrence County, on the eastern tip of Kentucky—“a mile as the crow flies across the ridge off Route 23, in a specific stretch often called ‘The Country Music Highway,’” as he puts it, laying on a bucketful of local color. But he’s making a valid point; natives of the area include Loretta Lynn, Hylo Brown, Dwight Yoakam, Larry Cordle and Ricky Skaggs, although he lists Illinois-bred John Prine and Texan Robert Earl Keen as the biggest influences on his early songwriting.

Childers’ sophomore album, Country Squire, is his first release through RCA (via his Hickman Holler imprint) and his second collaboration with 2017 Album of the Year nominee Sturgill Simpson, who co-produced both the current record and Childers’ 2017 breakout LP, Purgatory. “All Your’n,” Country Squire’s heartwarming lead single, is nominated for Best Country Solo Performance.

“You can’t deny the recognition behind an award like a Grammy,” Childers told HITS recently. “For a serious-minded working musician, it’s worth striving to achieve the quality in one’s own work to be worthy of such an honor.”

Following the release of Purgatory, the talented newcomer snagged slots opening for Margo Price, Prine, Jack White and Simpson. During the last two years, his name has appeared on the bills for SXSW, Stagecoach, Sasquatch, Bonnaroo, the Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza and Shaky Knees, as well as an event called the Devil’s Backbone Hoopla Festival, which sounds like something we’d eagerly attend.

This September, Country Squire topped the Americana Albums Chart, where it held strong for multiple weeks; it also went #1 on both iTunes’ overall and country charts. Childers’ trump card is unpretentious authenticity: At his core, he’s a working man and a captivating storyteller who’s bringing Appalachia to the mainstream.

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