|Screenshot of Childers' album website|
Eastern Kentucky-born country singer and songwriter Tyler Childers released a surprise album on Friday meant to raise money for Appalachian philanthropic efforts and raise awareness about racial injustice to rural white listeners, Joseph Hudak reports for Rolling Stone.
Long Violent History is mostly instrumental fiddle music but includes a track with the same name of the album, in which Childers "sings about the Appalachian upbringing of a 'white boy from Hickman' and how he and his kin have been sometimes labeled 'belligerent' and 'ignorant.' But, he points out, they’ve never had to fear for their lives," Hudak reports. "Could you imagine just constantly worryin'/Kickin' and fightin', beggin' to breathe?" he sings."The album arrives with a six-minute video message from the Kentucky songwriter, in which he directly challenges his fans, including his 'white rural listeners,' to empathize with black victims of police brutality," Hudak writes. "It’s a stunning speech, with Childers touching on his six-month sobriety, the covid pandemic, and the South’s misguided allegiance to the Confederate flag. But the focus of his address is on police brutality."