Tyler Childers, one of the pioneers of today’s independent country phenomenon, is back with his sixth studio album, Rustin’ In The Rain.
The lead-up to the record was quite a quick one with In Your Love serving as the lone single before a release date was given. This song, of course, wasn’t without its controversy due to the fact that the music video featured two gay miners. Some viewed that as groundbreaking, as it became the first-ever country music video with a gay storyline to be released by a major label.
Present on Rustin’ In The Rain is the highly anticipated cover of S.G. Goodman‘s Space and Time. Fans of the Purgatory singer have been quietly waiting for him to release this cover ever since the Healing Appalachia video was released in May of 2022. Childers is joined by Goodman and Erin Rae on the studio version this time around. Like the original video, Space and Time is an absolute stunner from Childers vocally and one of his best vocal performances to date.
The record comes out firing with the title track. It’s a romping one that would sound absolutely perfect in a bustling saloon. It whips past in a breezy nature that any good bluegrass track should while simultaneously providing some extremely fun wordplay throughout. I mean seriously, who else other than Tyler Childers would sing,
“I have gee’d and haw’d
For you and it sure suits me
I am pawing with impatience
At the thought of tracin’ chains”
The entire song is so uniquely Childers and unabashedly Appalachian that one can’t help but smile while listening to this fun track. In typical fashion, he finds a unique way to say a familiar phrase. Any writer can say, “I hope you don’t forget about me.” Childers, like any writer of his stature, takes a unique approach and likens the thought of losing his love to his heart “rusting in the rain.”
Rustin’ In The Rain comes in at a tight seven songs and 28 minutes in runtime, making it the shortest Childers record to date. That being said, there’s still a lot to dive into throughout the record being that this might be his most sonically diverse record yet. There’s a variety of different production choices present throughout from the piano-heavy Phone Calls and Emails and Help Me Make It Through The Night to the bluegrass-inspired Rustin’ In The Rain and Percheron Mules.
It seems as if Childers is flexing his musical ability here on Rustin’ In The Rain, traversing a variety of different sonic sounds. It truly feels like an album that doesn’t belong in any particular time period, existing in its own space and time.
Listen to In Your Love, Space and Time and Rustin’ In The Rain here: