Consumer Guide Album
Tyler Childers: Purgatory [Hickman Holler, 2017]
This intense, narrow, flawlessly crafted retro-nuevo honky-tonk album gains decisive poetry from both Childers's lean, resonant East Kentucky drawl and his failure to shake his fundamentalist upbringing--purgatory, in case you didn't get the message, is a Romanist notion. "Do you reckon He lets free will boys / Mope around in purgatory?" he asks the Catholic girl he hopes to hedge his bets with, and damned if she doesn't slow him down some. "Darlin' to me but that's missus to you," he boasts. "Still on the road 'cause I ain't good for nothing / But writing the songs that I sing," he contextualizes.