Tyler Childers is the man of the moment right now. Exciting times for the 29-year-old Kentucky native, who’s just released his brand-new album ‘Country Squire’ to widespread critical acclaim. Produced by Sturgill Simpson, it feels like a massive break-out milestone in his career, having elevated him to a level where he’s now finding himself on the likes of the Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon as a guest – not bad going. We decided to check out Tyler’s headline show at the Rescue Rooms in Nottingham, an upgrade on the previously-selected Bodega, which sold out in no time.
We expected a packed house, but we were taken aback by the sheer dedication of Childers’ rapidly expanding UK fan base. These people know every word, from his very first cut to the most recent ‘Country Squire’ material. It felt very much like the early Zac Brown Band shows at Shepherd’s Bush, where everyone in the room could sense this was just the beginning of something very special – the rest of the world just hadn’t quite caught up yet. It’s pretty safe to say he won’t be playing in intimate venues like the Rescue Rooms for much longer if his rise continues at this pace.
His supporters haven’t just fallen in love with the material, but also the whole image and persona that Childers brings to the table. Whilst technical issues were being rectified at the start of the show, he casually brought out a ‘man walks into a bar’ joke; ultra-cool and totally unphased by the situation unfolding around him. At just 28 years of age, he oozes the confidence and comfort on stage of a veteran performer. He knows he’s pretty damn good at his craft, and when he has an audience at the palm of his hand like the Nottingham crowd were that night, you can understand why.
The ’Country Squire’ album is a wonderful body of work, that not only sounds sublime on record but translates so well to the live shows, particularly when you have the backing of a band with the immense quality that Childers’ guys possess. The album has its fair share of iconic anthems that Childers’ fan base has instantly connected with, such as the brilliant ‘House Fire’ which fired up the crowd very early on. The atmosphere never really died down from that point.
The live performance reflected the feel of the album recordings almost identically; effortlessly raw, gritty vocals from Childers with phenomenal musicianship behind. The title track ‘Country Squire’ already feels like a trad-country classic of years gone by (after just a month!) – undeniably infectious and clearly an early fan favourite. The single ‘All Your’n’ provided one of the highlights of the set, too, with its warm, soulful vibes. These are all timeless songs that will be staples in his set lists for many years to come.
Tyler Childers will be back in the UK in January, with shows scheduled in Glasgow, Manchester and of course London, where he’ll be headlining at Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Be sure to check out a show and support the Childers revolution – you won’t regret it!