“If you came here for the music today, then brother you came for the wrong reason”.
Tyler Childers traveled to Martin County on December 22nd for one reason: to raise awareness for the Martin County Water Situation. Along with fans traveling from different corners of the state, donations in excess of 500 cases of water were donated to the citizens of Martin County for use during water outages. Each citizen confirming residency was given two cases of water.
Per Tyler Childers’ FB page, the day would consist of water distribution, a meet and greet and a set of music. The meet and greet was held in the civic center with community members and fans lining up inside and continuing out in the blustery cold. Tyler took the time to speak, sign autographs, and take pictures with every single person that attended the event.
The event then moved to the parking lot of the civic center with a set by the lovely Senora May which included a moving duet with Tyler of “Old Country Church” that cut through the cold wintery day. The crowd was then treated to a set by David and Teresa Prince featuring songs by David’s “cousin”, Laid Back Country Picker. Opening with “MaGoffin County Cadillac and closing out with the Johnny and June hit, “Jackson”, you could only appreciate the dedication David and Teresa have for this community.
By the time Tyler took the stage the temperature was quite chilly but the crowd was fired up. The crowd was treated to a short but powerful set including the Hank Williams hit, “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry”, “Lady May”, “Nose to the Grindstone” and “Follow You to Virgie”. The set was capped off by 3 minutes of raw, defiant testimony that could only have been delivered by a citizen of the mountains. A visibly shaken Childers described his memories of the sludge spill being the catalyst of the water issues in Martin County, “What’s happened here in Martin County is a crime. I realize I’m preaching to the choir, but for those unaware, people are paying extortion-able prices for water they seldom see. What little they get for the money, ain’t fit to bathe a dog in. And that water that ain’t fit for a dog’s hind is what is expected to bathe and nurse their children with. In a state I consider the finest in the nation, I consider this unacceptable”.
The water Childers donated came from West Virginia company, LeSage Water, a nonprofit that is the “only bottling company in the country whose sole purpose is employing and training people with disabilities”. If you are interested in donating water to Martin County, you can call (844-4LESAGE).
Special thanks to Josh Trosper for providing this exclusive story and photographs from the event.
Guest contributor, Josh Trosper is a high school Assistant Principal by day, and music fan by night. Josh is husband to Christina, dad to Seth, Harrison, and Caroline. He enjoys spending time with family, listening to music, and going to concerts. His first concert was Billy Ray Cyrus.