Make no mistake, Tyler Childers could be selling out arenas coast to coast right now. You won’t hear him on mainstream country radio or see him on the CMAs, but he’s one of the biggest artists in all of country music right now with his 2017 album purgatory continues to be one of the best selling and streamed albums every week.
But instead of cashing in and selling, Tyler is selectively playing some of the country’s most iconic festivals and venues. He performed at DelFest a few weeks ago, backed by the Travelin’ McCourys for a bluegrass-inspired set. Then on Friday, June 17, he performed with his own band and a new member in tow at the 49th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival.
It was fiery music from Childers, who performed some of his most requested songs that he hasn’t performed live in recent times, most notably a solo set in which he performed his Appalachian ode “Nose to the Grindstone” and his Certified Platinum – Single “Lady May”. He has also sung some notable covers that he has performed at concerts recently, namely SG Goodman’s “I Never Want To Leave This World”, Bob Weir’s “Greatest Story Ever Told”, as well as “Tulsa Turnaround” and “Trudy”.
Tyler Childer’s Live has taken a funky as well as a more religious turn of late. He presented numerous gospel or gospel-like songs on the set, including “Old Country Church” and his crowd favorite and currently unrecorded “Hounds To Heaven”. See (mostly) full track listing below.
Perhaps most notably, Tyler Childers also introduced a new member to his backing band, the Food Stamps. CJ Cain is best known as the frontman and constant in bluegrass band The Wooks, who incidentally released an excellent record earlier this year Fly up. The Wooks have played and collaborated with Tyler regularly over the years, and CJ made his way from Lexington, Kentucky to play acoustic guitar. The Wooks also announced a break in May.
As those who have been watching Tyler Childers lately can attest, he’s increasingly preferring to lay down his own acoustics and sing with his hands. Having CJ Cain on stage helps Tyler with that. But Cain didn’t just play rhythm. On a couple of occasions he stepped out to offer a solo, which he’s pretty good at. His presence definitely helps fill out the sound.
Tyler Childers marked another bucket list target with his Telluride performance on Friday, and although it’s officially a bluegrass festival, Telluride allowed Tyler to do his own thing and the audience clearly appreciated it, as quite a few people mainly went to Childers traveled hard to see, and everyone roared their approval at the end.
(Mostly) Full Track Listing:
2nd bus line
3. Dead man’s curve
5. All Your’n
7. I never want to leave this world
8. The Greatest Story Ever Told
9. Percheron mules
10. Born again
11. Tulsa Reversal
12. Universal sound
13. Lady May (acoustic solo)
14. Nose to the Grindstone (acoustic solo)
16. House fire
17. Old Country Church
18. Dogs to heaven
20. Maybe a new song?