Tyler Lance Walker Gill is a self-proclaimed ‘song singer, drink slinger’ of indeterminate age. He was born in Bullitt County Kentucky and currently works out of Louisville, which is all of 22.7 miles away from his birthplace. He proudly sports a classic ‘dad bod’, an unfortunate walrus like ‘tache and a stupendous pair of ‘Willie braids’ that come down to the top of his rhinestone encrusted belt.
Below is a link to his most well-known song (it’s all relative though right?) ‘So Called Christian Politicians’. There are many reasons that you should listen to and then love this almost splenetic thrashing of what could have been a nice gentle piece of social commentary with a satirical edge, here are a few of them:
- That he comes from somewhere that makes a lot of crappy bourbon (one or two good ones as well, I’ll grant ya) is entirely appropriate given the number of drinking songs he writes and sings.
- In his public utterances he’s barely ever anything other than a piss-taking wise ass and yet remains totally fucking serious about the stuff that really matters. Witness the blurb for his – ‘Tonk Show’ “This show is bigger than all of us, collectively. This show is an unprecedented shift in the fabric of Honky Tonk space-time. This show is changing the way people live their entire lives. Could it save us from the impending doom of climate change? Absolutely, yes. It’s the only thing keeping Trump from getting re-elected.”
- He once paid actual money for a Busch beer guitar that was made by somebody else and “sounds like shit”.
- Country and americana is littered with ‘protest’ songs. So many artists are upset or anxious or mildly annoyed about things (you know the honourable exceptions). Very few of them are as explicitly and straightforwardly angry about stuff as he is here. Calling out neo-con Republican politicians by name and pointedly skewering their bullshit. Then nailing in two simple straightforward lines just what that means for ordinary folk – “I’m so sick and tired of being sick without the means to pay my doctor bill, but these so called christian politicians just see me as money in a till”
- He has helpfully coined his own genre and, even more helpfully, identified his demographic; making “y’alternative music for redneck-ass libtards.”
- ‘So Called Christian Politicians’ was on his only LP to date, which came out in 2020 and is full of pun-laden beer-drinking songs. Before that though the song was written for and released on a benefit compilation called ‘We Have a Bevin Problem’, which was the local music community’s response to the then governor’s anti-LGBTQ rhetoric.
- A quick skeg at his IG account reveals that he plays down the bill at events called ‘Boot Scoot Fest’. Posts cat videos. Plays covers of Molly Hatchett songs and runs ‘Tiger Tonkin’ Tuesdays’ at the Whirling Tiger in Louisville.
- The song is as full of vitriol, righteous indignation and pathos as anything you’ve heard in ages. “Nowadays it’s profit over people, ain’t that a cryin’ shame, they lie and cheat, kill n steal all in Jesus name”. Then it ends in the best Crazy Horse thrash ever to close out a honky tonk song.
- His taste in shirts is absolutely terrible, and the hats aren’t much better.
- His anger is totally real and unrefined, coming across as being born of the blue-collar workers’ struggles rather than the academic ideologues theorising. His explanation of this song is refreshingly direct and untutored: “There’s so much hypocrisy coming from certain Republican politicians that claim to be Christians… when you see so many people claiming Christianity and doing the exact opposite, it’s like, fuck that guy.”
TLWG is a self-deprecating, piss-taking, angry left left-leaning, honky-tonk evangelist, booze-hound joker. Where’s he been all my life…
PS. If you identify with the sentiments of this one, then I urge you to check out ‘Stealin’ in the Name of the Lord’ by Paul Kelly. Not ‘our’ Paul Kelly and a little off-piste for AUK but a life enhancing 3 minutes 37 seconds in anyone’s estimation.