Tyler Childers Makes Surprise Appearance at Fallsburg Summer Stage Festival

by Clayton Edwards

The second annual Fallsburg Summer Stage festival was set to be one for the books. The two-day festival featured local artists, craft vendors, and some great independent country music. John R. Miller, Vincent Neil Emerson, Eric Bolander, and 90s country band Shenandoah, among others, were on the bill. North Carolina-based bluegrass/roots band Town Mountain was set to close the festival’s first night. However, Friday morning, the band announced on social media that they wouldn’t make it due to a positive COVID test within the band. Those attending the festival had no idea the Tyler Childers and the Food Stamps would step up to fill Town Mountain’s slot.

According to Mountain Citizen, Tyler Childers and the Foodstamps took the festival stage and played a two-hour set packed with fan favorites and covers. During the set, Childers explained how he and his band ended up at Fallsburg Summer Stage playing to around 200 people. He said that he and the band were rehearsing in nearby Huntington, WV when they learned that Town Mountain had to cancel.  “We were all speculating on who might get the slot now that Town Mountain wasn’t playing it,” he told the crowd. “We were like ‘Well heck, let’s see if they’ll have us.’”

Honestly what self-respecting Kentucky-based festival could turn down a headlining set from Tyler Childers?

Tyler Childers Has Connections to Fallsburg Festival, Town Mountain

Those who know Town Mountain’s music know that they recorded the song “Down Low” with Tyler Childers handling vocals on their New Freedom Blues album. Additionally, Tyler Childers brought the NC-based band out to open for him at Red Rocks in 2019.

Town Mountain and Tyler Childers perform “Down Low” at Red Rocks

Playing the festival in Louisa was like a homecoming for Tyler Childers. Lousia/Fallsburg is located in Lawrence County Kentucky, where Childers grew up. Mountain Citizen noted that he talked a little about that during his set. After saying that it had been a “hot minute” since he played there, Childers recalled, “My second paying gig was in Fallsburg.”

An Interesting Choice Led to an Intimate Performance

Those who attended the Fallsburg Summer Stage festival saw Tyler Childers like few other people will. At this point, it wouldn’t be hard to imagine Childers kicking off a nationwide stadium tour. However, last Friday, he played to 200 people on his home turf.

Currently, it seems like every active artist is either on tour or gearing up to hit the road this summer. Childers, however, is set to play a handful of festivals in the coming months and a two-night stand at Red Rocks in September. Additionally, he has played a handful of new songs over the past few months but hasn’t said anything about recording anything new. This leaves many of his fans wondering what his plans are for the future.

Childers and his wife Senora May are expecting their first child. Additionally, many of his songs center on his desire to raise a family and settle down. It looks like Tyler and Senora May are doing just that. The world will just have to wait and see what happens.

We’ll just be over here crossing our fingers and tossing pennies in wishing wells while we wait for a new record from the Kentucky troubadour.