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This Album Changed My Life: Charlie Fittler On Tyler Childers’ ‘Purgatory’

6 July 2023 | 11:18 am | Mallory Arbour

“With such pensive lyrics, it really changed my approach to songwriting and my perspective of country music.”

Charlie Fittler

Charlie Fittler (Image: Supplied)

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Raised on his family's fifth generation Merino sheep property in the New South Wales Northern Tablelands outside of Armidale, the heartland and country life runs in Charlie Fittler’s veins. He performed his first open mic at age 12, before making his Tamworth Country Music Festival debut the following year.

Charlie attended the CMAA Academy of Country Music where he co-wrote his debut single Guitar Can't Drink a Beer, released in 2019, with Travis Collins. That same year, he performed a cover of George Ezra's hit, Shotgun on The Voice Australia

In 2022, Charlie was named a Toyota Star Maker top ten finalist. Additionally, he has opened for many artists, including Troy Cassar Daley and Ian Moss's on the 2022 Together Alone Tour and appeared at the Paul Kelly and Friends concert at Dirrandbandi.

Earlier this year, Charlie released his debut EP – Dying Breed – which features his current single, Buckin’ Luck. The track debuted at #34 on the Countrytown Hot 50 Airplay Chart.

“We both thought a rodeo song would be a great addition to the EP and its direction,” Charlie explained. “The track has an emotional and a humorous outlook of a rodeo rider.”

To learn more about Charlie Fittler, we asked him about an album that changed his life.

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Charlie Fittler on Purgatory by Tyler Childers:

“It's hard to put the finger on my favourite album, with so many greats to choose from, but an album that changed my life would be the fabled album Purgatory, released in 2017 by Tyler Childers. With such pensive lyrics, it really changed my approach to songwriting and my perspective of country music.

"I am now an old headstone
 To her grave, I'll die alone
 A testament of how she's grown
 Wherever she is sleepin', "
--- Tattoos by Tyler Childers

When it was released in 2017, it was so different to what was coming out of Nashville (but as it was produced in part by Sturgill Simpson that shouldn’t come as a major surprise) and so many of the songs on Purgatory resonated with me as a young senior in high school and I played two of his tracks in my music performance major.

Tattoos was so different from what the country charts and listeners were used to, as it was to me, and the touch between bluegrass and old school country was such a credit to Childers, which informed me with relief that country music was still strong and far from dead.

The disparity of the tracks where so unique and held so much value – from Lady May to Whitehouse Road to Universal Sound – and, for me, that, and how the lyrics were so striking and also reflected the mastery of Childers writing are the key elements that binds this incredible album together.

The speakers in my ute definitely copped a bashing for a couple years, belting out every track tuned all the way up. But it wasn't just the Lyrics that drew my attention, it was also the solid and iconic riffs such as in Lady May. A simple love song with such a silencing presence.

Thank you, CountryTown for the chance to speak about the Album that has most affected my outlook on what a great country album is."




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