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David Childers

Run Skeleton Run – 2017 (Ramseur)

Reviewed by Lee Zimmerman

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CDs by David Childers

David Childers possesses a voice for the ages. It's ironic that he launched his career late in life, but given the fact that he cites some literary influences - Chaucer and Kerouac among them - he appears all the more seasoned even despite his relative obscurity. A son of the South, he resides in Mount Holly, N.C., a former high-school football hero with a humble demeanor befitting one with such humble origins. Yet it's not that he isn't accomplished; a poet and painter whose love of music extends to jazz, opera and folk, he practiced law before turning his focus to following his muse.

Indeed, it's actually too bad that Jimmy Stewart isn't still with us. He'd be a natural if Hollywood ever chose to cast someone to star in Childers' life story.

As it is, Childers effectively holds his own, thanks to some star-studded assists from Don Dixon. Mitch Easter and Scott Avett of Avett Brothers fame. Even so, it's Childers' home-brewed blend of rural wisdom and rambling rhythms that establishes his traditional country cred. Songs such "Manila," "Bells," "Collar and Bells," "Goodbye to Growing Old" and "Belmont Ford" cast him in the role of a wizened down-home troubadour, ready to impart hard-learned lessons with a fiddle and frenzy. The dark narrative "Radio Moscow" and the snarling boogie of "Run Skeleton Run" mix things up to a certain extant, providing a cantankerous side to his otherwise good old boy mentality.

But no matter. Childers is authentic and unaffected when it comes to his lack of pretense and posturing. Indeed, one can't help but get the feeling that this guy is the real deal.