Music News & Reviews

Estill County’s Tyler Childers gets Sturgill Simpson’s help on new album

Tyler Childers’ “Purgatory” will be released Aug. 4.
Tyler Childers’ “Purgatory” will be released Aug. 4.

After years of shows and building a loyal fan base in the Bluegrass, Estill County resident Tyler Childers is set to release his debut album for Hickman Holler Records and Thirty Tigers, “Purgatory,” August 4.

The record is produced by Breathitt County native and Grammy award winner Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson. Ferguson has a long and prestigious career as a music engineer and producer, working with the likes of Johnny Cash, John Prine and U2 over his storied career. Ferguson also worked with The Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach on his latest and highly-regarded record “Waiting on a Song”, which released in May.

“Purgatory” was recorded at The Butcher Shoppe in Nashville and enlists the talents of Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Miles Miller on drums and backup vocals, Russ Pahl on a collection of instruments and the aforementioned Simpson on guitar, among others. The record touches on many subjects such as the ongoing opioid epidemic and romance in a love song about his new bride Senora May, a well-regarded musician in her own right.

Childers has been active in the regional music scene for several years and has one studio albums, “Bottles & Bibles” (2011), and two live EPs recorded at “Red Barn Radio” appearances. But “Purgatory” definitely represents Childers’ career moving to a new level, with international management, booking and press representation in addition the the new recording label.

“I am extremely grateful for Miles Miller introducing me to Sturgill Simpson, and also for Sturgill and David Ferguson taking the time to work with me,” Childers said in a press release. “I think we both wanted to make an album for East KY, and I reckon that’s what we did. It’s not about rock, or grass, or country… it’s just hollerin’ in the mountains and stirring s--- up! The band Sturgill and David put together was an all-star cast, and an honor to work with and learn from. I hope to do it again, but once is more than most are blessed with. For that I am thankful.”

To promote the release of “Purgatory”, Childers has upcoming tour dates with Parker Millsap, Nikki Lane, Yonder Mountain String Band and Drive-By Truckers along with a brief tour in Europe near the end of July and a handful of Kentucky performances, .

Matt Wickstrom: @wickstromwrites

If You Go

Hometown Throw Down at the Estill County Fair

What: Tyler Childers and the Food Stamps, The Wooks, Newtown, The Jenkins Twins, Senora May, Buck Winburn, Geno Seale

When: 6 p.m. July 6

Where: Estill County Fairgrounds, 38 S Irvine Rd, Irvine, Kentucky 40336

Admisson: $12


Other area Tyler Childers dates

July 28: Mountain Arts Center, 50 Hal Rogers Drive in Prestonsburg with Newtown. $17.

August 26: Moontower Music Festival at Masterson Station Park, 3051 Leestown Road in Lexington with Umphrey’s McGee, Benjamin Booker, The Record Company and more. $39-75.