As revered as Tyler Childers is in the country music world, he's not exactly known for his beer-soaked honky-tonk tear-crackers. On the other hand, neither is John Prine. Childers is more of a creature of the hills and screamers of Kentucky, much more to do with Appalachians and the sunset over his homeland. And while he's written some country standards (like “You Never Even Called Me By My Name”), John Prine isn't exactly the cowboy-fucking-kickers guy either.
But over a year after Prine's death, and over a year since we've heard any new recordings from Tyler Childers, the two have worked together to deliver us all with this new take on John Prine's rather obscure but popular whiskey siller "Yes" I think they should name a drink after you. "
The song and its violin originally begin on John Prine's second studio album, Diamonds in the Rough, from 1972. At just over 2 minutes, this is one of those songs Prine wrote as a silly premise for a country song. but he didn't see enough value in it that he wanted us to take it too seriously. That's why he made the title almost as long as the song.
Tyler Childers and his Foodstamps take on that core and premise of a country song, assuming that it could have become a huge hit in the '70s if given due attention. Childers sings it in the original key, which at first seems a bit high to him. And then to lengthen the track by about 40 seconds compared to the original, Tyler modulates it about halfway to an even higher key and adds a piano solo. This higher register is often where Tyler Childers' emotions are best captured, and this is the case with this tribute song.
The hug and clichéd nature of an otherwise excellent country song, swapping out a honky-tonk piano at the beginning and revisiting the violin beginning later in the song allows Childers to smear his own DNA on the track while still being respectful opposite the original composition. The final result is something that no one asked for, but we all might find it important to our musical diet right now.
The Tyler Childers version of "Yes I Guess They Oughta Name a Drink After You" comes from the John Prine compilation Broken Hearts & Dirty Windows: Songs of John Prine, Vol. 2 will be released on October 8th. Sturgill Simpson covered "Paradise" and Brandi Carlile also contributed "I Remember Everything" for the comp, although a tracklist for the 12-song album has not yet been released. The first volume was published in 2010.
Two guns up (9/10)