Tyler Childers “Ever Lovin’ Hand” (2019)

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I mean, “Seinfeld” had a whole episode (“The Contest”) about a certain solitary pursuit, which went on to be ranked #1 on TV Guide’s list of the “Top 100 TV Episodes of All-Time.” So, I guess, why not a pop song. The Divinyls’ sultry 1990 hit ‘I Touch Myself’ certainly addressed the subject most directly, but many more only slightly less obvious allusions have existed than one might expect: ‘Dancing With Myself’ by Billy Idol, ‘She Bop’ by Cyndi Lauper, and ‘Longview’ by Green Day, to name just a few. Oddly enough, neither Billy Squier’s ‘The Stroke’ nor Elton John’s ‘Jamaica Jerk Off’ are actually about what their titles would appear to imply, but then there’s little gray area as to what Billy Joel was up to in ‘Captain Jack’ while his sister was out on a date. Until now, the category leader in my mind would unquestionably have been Jackson Browne, whose self-loving refrain in 1977 ended with the wistful line, “Looks like it’s me and you again tonight, Rosie.” Then I heard a new tune by Tyler Childers, a 28-year-old neo-traditional country singer who has emerged in only the last three years to become one of the biggest and most critically-acclaimed artists in the land. Much of which has been due to the heartfelt and honest lyrics he’s produced; Childers has compared his songwriting process to telling short stories. Well, it would be difficult to imagine a more honest short-story set to music than that from his latest 2019 release “Country Squire” in the song ‘Ever Lovin’ Hand.’ The apparently autobiographical tale basically goes that Childers is out on the road, missing his girlfriend, and letting his imagination take hold. One thing he most certainly isn’t: Childers is proudly not a master of his domain.


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