“John Denver was a dumbass” and other choice moments from singer Tyler Childers’ epic drunken Twitter battle, in which he comes out swinging to contend for Kentucky’s honor.
Tyler Childers is 25 years old. He’s from Lawrence County, Kentucky. He plays music. Good music. And that’s all you need to know.
He’s been doing what he does since his papaw bought him his first guitar way back when, playing nonstop bar shows from before he could even drink up until this past weekend when he was in Chicago for a couple gigs.
You should listen to him and his band, The Food Stamps, for a lot of reasons. He sings lyrics that have to be earned the hard way in a voice that can’t be taught. That’s the truth. If you’re a Kentuckian, you should pay extra close attention, because he’s telling your story. The Levisa Fork practically flows through him with all of its characters and complexities and, yes, its garbage, too.
You shouldn’t mess with a man like that. Bad things can happen. You could, as one unsuspecting Twitter user found out, be on the receiving end of a very figurative (but very brutal) Kentucky beatdown.
Before they left for Chicago, Tyler and a buddy were up all night cranking CDs out on a five-disc burner, doing a little drinking, when he happened to catch a tweet from a friend of a friend who wasn’t happy about her upcoming move from West Virginia to Kentucky. She wrote, “I hate Kentucky right now. John Denver did not write about this place for a reason.”
Others tweeted in agreement.
“Denver’s song is mostly about country roads outside of Wv,” replied Childers, Defender of the Commonwealth, in reference to Denver’s dubious description of West Virginia geography in the song that shall not be named. “He was a dumbass.”
“I’ve lived in West Virginia before,” Childers admits. “It’s beautiful. But I was like, ‘Whoa, man, there’s all kinds of great things about Kentucky.’ ”
And so began an alcohol-fueled KO that would’ve made Ali proud. Childers jabbed back with a foot-long list of world-changing Kentucky people, places, and products. He hit them with a couple solid body shots like Abe Lincoln, Hunter S. Thompson, Keith Whitley and, of course, Cocaine Bear. They wheezed against the ropes, their chins drooping and undefended. Then came the knockout punch.
“In closing … you know why they call Wv ‘Almost Heaven’?”
“Because it’s right beside Kentucky.”
Good Lord. Don’t even try to get off the mat after that haymaker.
Not that he had to be, but our man was a good sport about it. The next day he offered his heartfelt condolences, Kentucky style.
“Shew boy … did I come back from not drinking in a big way last night.”
You can read the whole epic showdown and follow Tyler on Twitter here.
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