Travel the country long enough and talk with enough folks in the know, and you'll realize there are scores of untapped musical geniuses across the states. Count North Carolina native David Childers among them.
The folk singer has been making music since the 1970's, but never went full bore pursuing music as a career. For decades he has largely been unknown outside of North Carolina's borders. That all changed a few years ago when the right people started taking notice.
Scott Avett, of the massively popular Avett Brothers, Thirty Tigers distribution, and record producer Dolph Ramseur were a few of the players who have been pushing Childers to reach a wider audience. With the help of Ramseur and R.E.M. production team Don Dixon and Mitch Easter, Childers' has recorded a new album that's drawing some long overdue attention.
Run Skeleton Run, released on May 5, showcases Childers' reverence for the taut storytelling often found in traditional country songs.
"You look at a song like 'Pancho and Lefty'; it tells a story in four stanzas," Childers says. "An amazing story. That's the way I approach songwriting. You don't have to say so damned much. 'The train went down, oh lord oh lord.'
Today we're giving Wide Open Country readers an exclusive look at Childers' video for "Greasy Dollar." He wrote the song about his teenage experiences working as a roadside maintenance man.
"I worked with a lot of older, uneducated men, who were doing the same stuff, and trying to raise families," Childers tells Wide Open Country. "These guys were very kind to me and never tried to trick me or take advantage of me in any way since I was young and dumb. I always wanted to write about them but I never felt like I had the right form until this song popped out one day in 2016."
Look for Childers' new album, Run Skeleton Run wherever you buy music online. For a list of his upcoming tour dates, click here.