The prodigal son hath returned as Tyler Childers has revealed details of a new, three-part album, Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven? All three installments of the Gospel-oriented project are set to arrive on September 30th, with each segment—Hallelujah, Jubilee, and Joyful Noise—presenting a different spin on the same eight songs.
Along with Thursday’s announcement, Childers shared the lead single “Angel Band”. The singer-songwriter shared both the Hallelujah and Jubilee versions of the six-minute track, illustrating the differences between the releases. For the Hallelujah renditions, Childers and his band, The Food Stamps, recorded the song live in a single room. On the Jubilee versions, the sextet expands to include strings, horns, backing vocals, dulcimer, mbira, sitar, and more. The Joyful Noise versions remain a mystery, as those tracks won’t be revealed until release day.
As Childers said of the project,
I grew up Baptist and I was scared to death to go to hell. And a lot of that stuck with me. Filtering through that and trying to find the truth, and the beauty, and the things you should think about and expelling all that nonsense has been something I’ve spent a lot of time on. This is a collection that came together through those reflections. In a lot of ways, this is processing life experiences in the different philosophies and religions that have formed me, trying to make a comprehensive sonic example of that.
Working with the same song three different ways is a nod to my raising, growing up in a church that believes in the Holy Trinity: The Father, Son and Holy Ghost, and what that means. The Father being the root, the place from which everything comes from, and The Son coming to free up some of those things, allowing it to be more open and welcoming. And then you have the Holy Ghost once The Son is gone — that feeling that’s supposed to keep us sustained until we are reunited, in whatever way that looks.
Message wise, I hope that people take that it doesn’t matter race, creed, religion and all of that like — the most important part is to protect your heart, cultivate that and make that something useful for the world.
Accompanying the Jubilee version is a music video from Bryan Schlam that illustrates Childers’ path back to the light. The country firebrand has been known for his indulgences and often writes them into his music profiling the slow demise of Appalachian life, famously exemplified through his 2017 favorite, “White House Road”.
Following the release of his culturally scathing 2020 bluegrass album, Long Violent History, Childers revealed his newfound sobriety and went underground. Since the return of live events, he has made sparing high-profile appearances, performing alongside Bob Weir and The Travelin’ McCourys. Childers will play two shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on September 28th and 29th in the immediate run-up to the release of Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven?
Check out the new Tyler Childers single “Angel Band” in both the Hallelujah and Jubilee version. Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven? is available here for pre-order.
Tyler Childers – “Angel Band” (Jubilee Version) (Official Video)
Tyler Childers – “Angel Band” (Hallelujah Version)
Can I Take My Hounds To Heaven? Tracklist
1. Old Country Church
2. Can I Take My Hounds to Heaven?
3. Two Coats
5. Way of the Triune God
6. Angel Band
8. Heart You Been Tendin’