Tyler Childers: The Importance of All Your'n
Tyler Childers and the Foodstamps have become the leaders in the country music revolution. The band has gone from the small stage in the dive bars to the big stages of the Ryman, Cain’s Ballroom, and Red Rocks later this year. As they continue to make new music and make the rounds on the circuit, the venues will eventually turn into arenas. Longtime fans of Tyler Childers have been venting their frustration with the release of the new single, “All Your’n,” that will be on the August 2, 2019 release of Country Squire. We, as fans of the current underground country music movement, should step back and understand the importance of this release of “All Your’n” and what it means for our future in the mainstream radio takeover.
I first saw Tyler Childers and the Foodstamps in Nashville at the Basement. It was AmericanaFest 2017. The venue was over capacity and the entire room was nut to butt and no room to move. When we arrived, we waited in line for several minutes and were eventually allowed in. Once inside the Basement, we had nowhere to go. We slowly kept pushing in the door until we could see the band on the stage. At that time, we were looking at an individual with long red hair, pulled back in a ponytail, wearing flannel. It was hot as Hell in there, but so was the music. I think we must have caught about half the set that night. Our intention was to see Colter Wall again, but instead we fell in love with Tyler Childers and the Foodstamps. Ironically, this happened at the same festival that was later denounced by Mr. Childers in his acceptance speech for the Emerging Artist of the Year award.
“As a man who identifies as a country music singer, I feel Americana ain’t no part of nothin’ and is a distraction from the issues that we’re facing on a bigger level as country music singers,” he said, nodding to the title of his debut album, Purgatory. “It kind of feels like purgatory.” When I first heard Mr. Childers make this statement, I was confused. I felt like the statement alienated a lot of artist in which Tyler idolizes and a lot of artists in general that do not have any other way in which to identify. This being because of the shit that is on mainstream country, rock, blues, etc. radio. I wanted more clarification to this statement. Not from his fans or those trying to breakdown the statement on social media, but a clarification from Tyler Childers himself. To my knowledge, that never came. However, looking back at the statement, taking in account the success of this band, and with the release of the new single, “All Your’n,” the message is becoming much clearer.
If you dare to turn on your radio, set the dial to a majority of modern country stations, you will hear noises in which you cannot identify as traditional country music. We won’t spend any time mentioning the songs or the artists, but you know the bullshit that I am referring to here. The point is, country music has been alive and well for a long time. In the honky tonks, Whitey Morgan and the 78s have been stomping around for years. Dale Watson has been putting out tunes since 1995. The emergence and success of Cody Jinks has helped bring the push for real country music alive and on the radio again. You can find all of these artists on satellite radio. But, that’s not good enough. It’s not good enough for Tyler Childers. It should not be good enough for us as fans. Some people like to say that this is “selling out.” I have to respectfully disagree that such a notion even exists. If we, the fans, had the opportunity to create something, we would want that creation to be as successful as it possibly can be. Mr. Childers is doing that. “All Your’n” is doing much more than that.
Country Squire was recorded at The Butcher Shoppe in Nashville, TN with co-producers Sturgill Simpson and David Ferguson. The single, “All Your’n” was released on June 21, 2019. The single has created a lot of buzz as to the way it was produced. Many fans are used to the live version that is much different in comparison to the studio version. However, the focus of the argument should not be on the creativity of the artist in the studio. We all know that Tyler Childers has full say on the way he does business. While the music and the way that the music is produced, may evolve, the fact that Childers has control, will not. Mr. Childers made a very conscious decision in the way that this song was produced. The focus, I believe, is a nudge to mainstream radio. Success cannot be ignored. As the number of fans continues to grow for this band, so does the opportunity for revenue by others. That includes mainstream radio and advertising. “All Your’n” is built for that platform. Will Country Squire be the album that puts this underground country music movement over the top? That’s yet to be seen, but “All Your’n” is a step in the right direction.
Photos Courtesy of Melissa Payne Photography