Kentucky’s own Tyler Childers released a surprise album this week, titled Long Violent History, which followed 2019’s Country Squire. Along with the album, Childers recorded a heartfelt video message, touching on topics like police brutality, the ongoing pandemic, and more.
“Back in June, when I wrote the song ‘Long Violent History’, it was my original goal to continue to make fairly legible sounds on the fiddle and put this album out with no announcements or press. I’d plan to package it as an old time fiddle album and let the piece make its statement on its own, taking the listener by surprise at the end,” Childers said of the mostly-instrumental album in the video posted to his YouTube page.
He continued, “However, there has been concern that the album could run the risk of being misinterpreted if not given some sort of accompanying explanation to set it in context.”
Childers is, of course, talking about the album’s title track, which he describes as an “observational piece on the times we are in.” As the song focuses on the issue of police brutality and the struggles faced by African-Americans in this country, so does his video message.
Speaking to his “white rural listeners,” Childers questions, “What if we were to constantly open up our daily paper and see a headline like ‘East Kentucky Man Shot Seven Times on a Fishing Trip?’ Read on to find the man was shot while fishing with his son by a game warden, who saw him rummaging through his tackle box for his license and thought he was reaching for a knife.”
He went on to ask, “If we wouldn’t stand for it, why would we expect another group of Americans to stand for it? Why would we stand silent while it happened? Or worse, get in the way of it being rectified?”
Childers then brought up the Confederate flag and explained how people can preserve their heritage by “hewing a log, carving a bowl, learning a fiddle tune, growing a garden, raising some animals, canning our own food, hunting and processing the animal, fishing, blacksmithing, trapping and tanning the hide, [and] sewing a quilt,” as opposed to flying a flag “with history steeped in racism and treason.”
The singer-songwriter ended his six-minute video with a message of togetherness, reminding the listeners to love one another and to stand united.
Below, check out Childers’ message and scroll down to listen to the entire album in full.
A Message From Tyler
[Video: Tyler Childers]
Tyler Childers – Long Violent History
Childers currently has three dates scheduled for next year. Starting on August 12th, 2021, Childers will hit the road for three nights with The Avett Brothers with shows at Hartman Arena in Park City, KS, Walmart AMP in Rogers, AR (8/13), and Murphy Arts District Amphitheater in El Dorado, AR (8/14). Head to his website for tickets and more tour information.