“Honky Tonk Flame,” from his debut album Purgatory, turned out to be only the very beginning of an obsession that left me and so many other fans diving deep into one song and then another. His writing is moving on its own but coupled with his voice, his music is transcendent. Cliché? Maybe. But, also, accurate. Not all of his fans have grown up splashing in canals or experimenting with cocaine. Yet he still manages to take listeners to those summer days of play and those buzzing nights of searching for more. He’ll get you there on pure imagery and tone alone.
This makes sense given how well he knows those scenes. When CityBeat writer Gregory Gaston caught up with him last year, we learned about Childers’ childhood in Eastern Kentucky, not too terribly far from here. Mixing his Gospel upbringing with his youthful obsession with rebel Country, Childers created a sound too gnarly and unique to ignore. He’s rambled his way across the country and back a few times now, gathering moments and experiences along the way. Only time will tell where Childers will take listeners next.