Progressive country's tide continues to rise
On debut album Purgatory, produced by Sturgill Simpson, Kentucky songwriter Tyler Childers sings with an intensity as fiery as his crimson mop. In a gritty tenor, Childers zooms in on particulars, like a belt buckle making impressions on the inside of a woman's thigh on “Feathered Indians,” to evoke a modern Appalachian homeland that's filled with moonshine, cocaine, pills, murder and (maybe) redemption. Like Simpson, Childers has a way of making forward-looking country music without disavowing the rich heritage of the genre's past.
The same can be said of co-headliner Colter Wall, who was in town a couple of months ago playing an opening slot at the Park Street Saloon. Wall's gruff baritone belies his 22 years, and while you'd swear he came out of the Texas panhandle, Wall actually hails from Saskatchewan, Canada. Pick up his self-titled album, produced by Dave Cobb (Simpson, Jason Isbell), for a taste of what's next in country music.
Beloved local act Angela Perley & the Howlin' Moons, fresh off a gig opening for Lucinda Williams, will take the stage first at this marquee show. Originally scheduled for the Basement, this concert was moved to the Newport — not surprising given the talent on the bill. (Don't miss it)