Young Kentuckian Tyler Childers became the newest Americana wunderkind to have a sold-out multi-night run at the Ryman. The magic number for Childers was four with a week space between each pair of shows. Yours truly felt quite lucky to have grabbed a great single seat for his headlining Ryman debut.
Keeping with the trend, like his predecessors have done, Childers hand-picked a different opening act for each night. Tonight’s show featured a well-received set by Texan Robert Earl Keen whom I just noticed has dropped the “Jr.” from his name. The headliner was obviously a big fan and showed a great deal of class, not only picking him, but allowing him to do a one-hour set. I was a bit disappointed when REK didn’t do his signature tune, “The Road Goes on Forever,” though. A lot of folks singing along to the songs showed that Tyler made a good pick. (He also made another great choice with Marty Stuart for night two.)
But, if you want to talk about singing-along, I don’t think I’ve ever heard such an audience-made chorus of backing vocals than I heard tonight. At times I felt I was the only one who didn’t know every word to every one of Childers’ songs!
Having only seen him perform a few years ago at a Grimey’s in-store, I was quite taken with how classy this young man presented himself on stage. A slick hairdo and a prominent moustache game him a strong Country music image that just may become iconic as his career continues to ascend.
And about those lyrics that everyone knew, Childers’ is a great storyteller full of tales to tell and his sings with a timeless Country voice. A top-notch band to boot, they were given a brief smoke break near the show’s end when Childers went back to the simplicity of his first LP, Bottles and Bibles and sang alone with his acoustic guitar.
Mid set, he brought out a friend, John R. Miller, to sing a song and he continued being a classy dude when he brought out Robert Earl Keen and his band to join all his players on the stage to a rollicking version of “The Road Goes on Forever.” Now how cool was that?
If there is anything that I could find fault with in this musically flawless show, it would be something that Tyler Childers confessed to himself. Mentioning that he probably talked too much, he said that it really didn’t matter since he was probably mumbling anyway! When you leave a show and all you can complain about is not understanding some of the between-song banter, that’s what I call a great night of music.
- All Your’n
- Feathered Indians
- Whitehouse Road
- Long Long Time to Get Old (Great Speckled Bird cover)
- Country Squire
- Bus Route
- House Fire (opening)
- House Fire
- Coming Down (lead vocal by John R. Miller)
- Tennessee Blues (Bobby Charles cover)
- Born Again
- Tulsa Turnaround (Kenny Rogers & The First Edition cover)
- Redneck Romeo
- Nose on the Grindstone
- Bottles and Bibles
- Lady May
- Follow You to Virgie
- Honky Tonk Flame
- Universal Sound
- The Road Goes on Forever (lead vocal by Robert Earl Keen)
Tyler Childers – Vocals and Acoustic Guitar
Jesse Wells– Electric Guitar, Mandolin and Banjo
James Barker– Pedal Steel and Electric Guitar
Chase Lewis– Keyboards
Craig Burlectic– Bass
Rodney Elkins– Drums