Tyler Childers’ ‘Country Squire’ Among Best Country Albums of 2019: NPR

Blessed with a Kentucky croon and a knack for storytelling, Childers offers a slice of country life on his recent album, with songs about marriage, life on the road, and the school bus he took when he was a child.



TERRY GROSS, HOST:

It’s FRESH AIR. Before the end of the year, our rock critic Ken Tucker wants to review an album released earlier this year. This is Tyler Childers’ album “Country Squire”. He was born in an area of ​​Kentucky that also produced Loretta Lynn and Chris Stapleton. Childers was the opening act for one of his heroes, John Prine, and this album was co-produced (inaudible) – “Country Squire” review.

(EXCERPT FROM THE SONG, “EVER LOVIN ‘MIND”)

TYLER CHILDERS: (Singing) They’ve got my favorite lotion here, something in a hotel that I admire. I have the photos you sent me, and how they fill me with desire. Tonight we all have our own rooms. I’m about to burn mine because I miss something fierce about you in this quaint New England town.

KEN TUCKER, BYLINE: It seems like every year around this time I find myself thinking about the ones that got away – albums that, for some reason or another, I never saw again but the music of which has stuck in. my head. One of these collections is “Country Squire” by Tyler Childers. Blessed with a Kentucky croon and a knack for revealing detail, Childers filled this album with songs that told stories about his marriage, his life on the road, and, in the one I’m about to play, about the route from his school bus that he took when he was a child.

(EXTRACT FROM THE SONG, “BUS ROUTE”)

CHILDERS: (Singing) That’s where we dropped off the prettiest little girl, same class as me. I tried to kiss her once in the aisle of the bus, and she crushed me. Face down, I hoped she would change her mind. But I swear to you, as she walked down the stairs, she didn’t even say goodbye – didn’t even say goodbye.

TUCKER: The precision of the language in this song, “Bus Route,” the quick and vivid descriptions of the harassed bus driver and the hapless self of Childers at 8 are typical of the whole album. “Country Squire” was co-produced by Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson, and it has a nice, loose, and straightforward feel. I believe it when Childers told an interviewer that they cut all nine songs on the album in two days, which doesn’t mean it sounds rushed or sloppy; instead, it seems blunt, oblivious, and unrestrained.

(EXCERPT FROM THE SONG, “COUNTRY SQUIRE”)

CHILDERS: (Singing) Well, tonight I’m at Chillicothe, downwind of the stationery. I am there spitting on the sidewalk, smelling the smells of the factory. God knows she has a tendency to smoke out the window in the air, that gas pipe leak. I wonder if she’s grinding her teeth at the same time, thinking some pretty thoughts for me. I was up for hours this morning, pulling traps before I said goodbye. I’m planning on tanning myself a fox skin and hanging it on the darling bride because they tell me it’s gonna be big, and the snow sets in. And I don’t want her to be cold while I’m not home the way I have been. Spend my nights in …

TUCKER: This is the title track, in which it becomes clear that Tyler Childers doesn’t come across as some fancy squire of the country; no, it is a reference to a motorhome brand. Again, he’s devilishly good at details, describing the songs as the two-by-fours he builds his career with and with the aim of putting himself and his wife in this so-called RV castle, at the wood background. He’s also good at portraying a man who feels trapped, sitting in a bar on the outskirts of town, in this song called “Creeker”.

(EXCERPT FROM THE SONG, “CREEKER”)

CHILDREN: (Singing) In a little local bar, he sits there drinking, lost like a bullet in a field full of corn, farther than he ever imagined he would one day end up there. where he was born. Now no sadder as the creeker drank whiskey than the one you see outside your eye drinking alone as he stares out the window at all the strangers around the corner. He prefers to be dead …

TUCKER: Childers said about the songs on this album, I hope maybe someone out there can get a glimpse into the life of a Kentucky boy. I think he did admirably. He’s unlike anyone else making country music right now, and he made one of the best country albums of 2019.

RAW: Rock critic Ken Tucker commented on Tyler Childers’ “Country Squire”.

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Toya J. Bell