Watching the white lines on the interstate while my husband drives I'm grateful for the view outside my passenger window. Endless rolling hills of green swiftly pass by in a blur.
Row after row of corn sway to and fro in the wind and I think about the kudzu monsters I brought to life with my imagination as a child. This is Kentucky. From East to West and top to bottom it's the fertile, forgiving, full of adventures that haven't happened yet.
Tyler Childers belts out something about a man named "Matthew" from the speakers in this truck. I joke that he's a "local." A native of Lawrence County, he's full of grit and truth. He's done a fair job at putting the Commonwealth on the map. The boy looks like Willie Nelson, he puts me in mind of someone who might've put gum in my hair as a child. He has a mischievous nature evident by the sneaky look in his eyes at all times.
Much like anyone who's ever left home before there's an ache and a knaw in his voice. He sings with conviction and refuses to compromise in a society of radio royalty that somewhat demands that he conform.
He's a Kentuckian. He's driven by pride and hell bent on proving a lot of folks wrong. I think that's why I love his o'nry spirit so much.
That's the beauty in his music, it's familiar, relatable, real. He's one of "us." The rest of the world knows where he stands.
I can't help but root for him. I'm no music critic but I'm a fan. There's something special about a freewill Baptist boy who pays homage to the hollers he grew up in while live on Jimmy Fallon. He's blunt, unashamed, bashful yet straight forward.
This Childers boy is doing something big, I'll be the first to thank him. It's one thing to aspire to be great, it's another to get it done. I'd gladly offer him a seat at my dinner table, he's from a kindred tribe of people who eat shucky beans and cornbread after church on Sunday.
You needed Kentucky Tyler, and Kentucky needed you.
Erinn Williams is originally from Williamsburg, and now resides in Owensboro, Ky. The daughter of a teacher and a preacher, she hopes to make a difference through her words. She serves as a teacher's assistant in Daviess County, and writes for two newspapers in Western Kentucky. She can be contacted at email@example.com.