For his first Spotify Singles appearance, Tyler Childers enlists bluegrass greats the Travelin’ McCourys for a string-band rendition of his hard-charging song “House Fire,” a highlight off his latest album Country Squire. Childers also teams up with Ricky Skaggs for a rousing cover of Skaggs’ 1982 hit “Highway 40 Blues.”
For their take on “Highway 40 Blues,” Childers and Skaggs are joined by the song’s writer Larry Cordle. The trio, all of whom are from Lawrence County, Kentucky, performed that same song as a kick-off to one of Childers’ concerts during his Ryman Auditorium residency in Nashville this past February. Childers headlined four sold-out nights at the venue, before hitting the road with Sturgill Simpson on their A Good Look’n Tour. The trek was ultimately cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, with the remaining dates canceled.
Childers spoke of his reverence for Skaggs in a 2018 interview. “When I was younger,” he told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “I had two of mine own cassette tapes that I burnt up, like constantly I was always listening to. They were two Ricky Skaggs albums.”
The new versions of “Highway 40 Blues” and “House Fire” were co-produced by David Ferguson and William Garrett and recorded at the Butcher Shoppe in Nashville. Last month, Childers released an animated video for “Country Squire” that chronicled his romance with wife Senora May and imagined a future in outer space.