Tyler Childers writes songs about hard lives and hard love with direct heart. You meet these characters — some from his own life, some not — and feel like you know them, but there's always another layer to uncover with each listen, carved by his coarse and soulful Kentucky drawl.
In his performance at the Tiny Desk, we meet a miner and the consequences of addiction ("Nose on the Grindstone"), Childers' own in-laws ("This is a song about the first time I got snowed in with my in-laws," he says, expecting a laugh, and giving it a beat. "It's not a blues song, it's a love song"), and the love of his life, "Lady May." Only the closing song comes from last year's Purgatory, his proper debut record, produced by Sturgill Simpson. The others are regular features in Childers' live repertoire for now, but lived in and alive, ready for us to dig deep.
- "Nose on the Grindstone"
- "22nd Winter"
- "Lady May"
Producers: Lars Gotrich, Morgan Noelle Smith; Creative Director: Bob Boilen; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Videographers: Morgan Noelle Smith, Dani Lyman; Production Assistant: Joshua Bote; Photo: Eslah Attar/NPR.