Review by Harry Kaplan
It is very rare that a show sells out at Southgate House. The shows draw very well, but sell outs are not too common. The only show I remember selling out recently was The Breeders and now two nights for Tyler Childers. On a weeknight! I think this is a testament as to how popular Tyler is. Granted, this is his home turf, but some people drove over two hours to see not just one, but both shows. Tyler’s current town of Irvine, KY was well represented. Most of the people knew every word to every song. The point is this – this is a grassroots movement, going from town to town. And he makes fans wherever he goes.
I can’t say enough good things about the venue, Southgate House Revival. It is one of my top three favorite music venues of all time. Even when there is a big crowd, the vibe is always positive with good energy flowing from the bands to the audience and back again. It completes a circuit. I can’t think of a better place to see a show. And it seems like the bands that play Southgate mingle with the crowd more than anywhere else I have seen shows.
And once you see or hear Tyler and the crack band, you will understand why. The music is fantastic. And it is scale-able. I could easily envision this show in a 5,000 seat arena, or even bigger. The music and playing are great. And the band chemistry is palpable. Yes, the chemistry is evident, you can see it. And more importantly, you can feel it. I was fortunate enough to attend both nights. I could have easily gone to a third.
Arlo McKinleyPhoto courtesy of Wayne Litmer
The first night was Arlo solo and a full band for night two. Both shows had a tremendous amount of energy and feeling. The first night was just electric. It was great to be able to concentrate on the singer and not really focus on anything else. Arlo’s songs are so well written and performed that either acoustic or electric are a treat. I was very impressed. And he did two songs with Sarah Davis, which were absolutely brilliant. Their voices blend so nicely together and Sarah can flat out sing.
Blank Range Photo Courtesy of Wrenne Evans
Can you imagine what it would sound like if you mixed Neil Young and Pink Floyd? Well, wonder no more. Blank Range sounds like someone dipped Laurel Canyon into San Francisco in 1968. Their sound is country as all get out, but they also have the ability to jam and get spacey. They can also lay down some seriously filthy (and beautiful) guitar riffs similar to the master, Mr. Young. Yes, I am glad someone saved the fuzz. It sounds wonderful!
The buzz surrounding Tyler and his band is legit. They are great and ready for the prime time. I can tell that Tyler is so down to earth that fame will not change him. He is a genuinely nice guy (and so is the band) that truly likes his fans and feeds off of their energy. Also, the way he thanked the audience throughout the show was totally sincere and heartfelt.
Tyler knows that his fans travel well and he never forgets that. It is really nice to see someone who really gets it. His talent alone is deserving of greater exposure but the fact that Tyler is a great person makes me root for him even harder. As I stated, both nights were wonderful. If you get a chance to see Tyler Childers. either acoustic or with a full band, don’t miss the opportunity.