Let’s all appreciate for a second that Tyler Childers could sell out arenas across the United States this summer if he wanted to, and on his own, as a headliner. Tyler Childers is one of the biggest artists in all of country music right now, evidenced by the unlikely continued popularity of his 2017 album. Purgatorywhich continues to battle for the Top 10 on the Billboard Country Albums chart every week, and receives some 7 million spins a week.
But Tyler Childers isn’t headlining across the country this summer. This Sunday, May 29, he will play Del McCoury’s DelFest with the Travelin’ McCourys as backup. Then a few weeks later, he will play at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival. This is where Tyler Childers wants to be, and thanks to all that mailbox money from Purgatoryhe doesn’t have to live out of a suitcase if he doesn’t want to.
This weekend, a small festival of 200 people took place in Tyler’s home territory of Lawrence County, Kentucky. Called the Fallsburg Summer Stage and held in Louisa, the likes of Vincent Neil Emerson, John R. Miller and Eric Bolander were set to perform, with Town Mountain headlining in North Carolina. Unfortunately, a positive COVID test eliminated Town Mountain from the lineup.
Apparently, Tyler Childers and his band were just down the street in Huntington, West Virginia, practicing when they got wind of the cancellation. A few calls were made, and the next thing you know, the roughly 200 people in attendance received a two-hour broadcast from Tyler Childers, and on his home turf.
“We were all speculating who might get the slot now that Town Mountain was no longer playing it. We were like, ‘Well heck, let’s see if they get us'” Childers said of the scene according to to a local report. “And here we are.”
Tyler Childers has a close kinship with Town Mountain. He toured with them in the past, recorded the song “Down Low” with them in 2018 for their album New freedom bluesand brought them out to open to him at Red Rocks.
There’s a small part of you that wonders if Tyler Childers has scaled the ladder of independent country only to now sit back and rest on his laurels instead of continuing to push to help disrupt the mainstream. Of course, now that a child is on the way, it’s understandable that Tyler’s priorities have changed. But clearly Tyler’s principles were not.
He can leave six figures on the table every Friday and Saturday night while staying home. But when a local festival and favorite band were in need, Tyler Childers and the rest of the Food Stamps had no problem stepping in. That really says it all.