Tyler Childers is, as we all know, an outstanding singer and songwriter. His particular brand of country has been demanding attention for years, as people can’t get enough of the down-to-earth Kentuckian’s sound. After the release of two very different videos in 2020, however, it may be argued that music isn’t Childers’ only strong suit. In July 2020, he put out a sweet music video for the title track of his Grammy-nominated record, Country Squire, proving yet again he has a way when it comes to the art of storytelling, both on stage and on screen.
In “House Fire,” we saw that Childers can pull off the more traditional videos that are, let’s say, more serious in nature. In “All Your’n,” his creative streak rose to the top as he plays nearly every role in a video about an interesting hallucination. But in “Country Squire,” he joins his wife and his band, the Food Stamps, in glorious Wallace and Gromit-style animation. The unexpectedly charming animated video was directed by renowned comic book artist Tony Moore and depicts the feel-good story told in the song. See the behind-the-scenes clip below.
Then in September, Childers dropped a stunning surprise album called Long Violent History, using his platform to play Appalachian music while taking on tough topics brought to the fore in 2020. Of the title track, NPR’s Ann Powers wrote, “It’s a lament grounded in bluegrass fiddle and that fundamental African import, the banjo. Presenting himself as a confused ‘white boy from Hickman’ who once understood how the protests might feel like unnecessary trouble, Childers artfully bends perspective at the ballad’s center, realizing that for all the times he’d belligerently questioned authority, he’d never felt like he might lose his life.”
A description on a behind-the-scenes clip on his YouTube channel reads, “Long Violent History is a collection of instrumental pieces intended to create a sonic soundscape for the listener to set the tone to reflect on the last track. 100% of net proceeds from Long Violent History go to support the Hickman Holler Appalachian Relief Fund.” The accomplished singer-songwriter provided an equally potent testimonial video, explaining his reasoning for the record. Because Childers rarely grants interviews, the video provided his fans a firsthand account of his artistic integrity. It also positions him as a compelling public speaker, should he decide to pursue that path in 2021. Take a look below.
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