There is a whole world of independent country music flying right under the mainstream radar. However, few artists in that sphere have achieved the kind of success that Tyler Childers has in the past few years. The “Feathered Indians” sits at the top of a long list of artists who don’t make music for the industry machine. Instead, musicians like him make the kind of music they want to hear. They write, sing, and play from the heart. Fans of good music around the world are starting to take notice. There’s something about the authenticity in these songs that draws in fans like moths to a flame.
As fans, we know that Tyler Childers’ music is top-tier. It doesn’t matter if he’s writing love songs for his wife and fellow artist Senora May, singing about alien invasions, or covering songs from legends like John Prine, Childers doesn’t miss. He has a stack of precious metal from the RIAA to back that up. His 2017 album Purgatory reached Gold status in 2020. The next year, Childers landed his first Platinum plaque for the single “All Your’n.”
This year has been a massive one for Tyler Childers. February saw Childers receiving his second Platinum certification for “Whitehouse Road” and “Lady May.” Last month, the Kentucky Native scored his first Double Platinum Certification for “Feathered Indians.”
Tyler Childers Struck a Chord with “Feathered Indians”
Tyler Childers released four singles from Purgatory, but “Feathered Indians” wasn’t one of them. This album cut quickly found its way into the ears and hearts of fans everywhere. Its instantly-recognizable intro riff pulls the listener in and the fiddle and mandolin create a beautiful backdrop. However, it’s the story Childers tells in the song that made it so popular.
A good portion of Tyler Childers’ songs deals with the themes of a hard-partying, hard-living lifestyle and love. However, it is where those themes intersect that Childers really shines. It’s the same combination that has made songs like Waylon Jennings’ “Good Hearted Woman” and the Waylon and Willie track “I Can Get off on You” timeless. There’s something about the story of a heathen finding a good woman and settling down that resonates deeply across the spectrum of country music fans.
While “Feathered Indians” isn’t the only example of this on Purgatory, it is the best. Throughout the song’s verses, Tyler Childers allows the protagonist to grow while falling deeper in love. In the first verse, he sings “If I’d known she was religious / I wouldn’t have came stoned / To the house of such an angel / Too f*cked up to get back home,” which is a great starting point. The change comes gradually.
Over the next two verses, he goes from talking about smoking lung darts because there was nothing he was afraid of losing by dying young to being willing to run through thorns and across a river just to hold the aforementioned angel.
At the end of the day, “Feathered Indians” is a damn good story couched in a great song. The same can be said for the majority of Tyler Childers’ catalog. I’d be shocked if this was his only Double-Platinum certification.