David Childers is no stranger to the Charlotte music scene, having released a number of albums as a solo artist, with the Modern Don Juans and with Overmountain Men. Serpents of Reformation, released on the Concord-based Ramseur Records (The Avett Brothers, Langhorne Slim, Samantha Crain), brings forth a new sonic side of the stellar songwriter.
The lyrical content is spurred on by gospel themes while the music ranges from folk and bluegrass to blues and apocalyptic rhythms. A number of songs on the album are traditional, though Childers penned half of the 14 tracks.
There's great diversity in the album's vocal stylings. "How 'Bout You" is a choral presentation, while Childers pairs with Jim Avett on the traditional tune "Jericho" and goes solo on "Jesus Set Me Free."
Musically, beats and rhythms are the driving forces behind the majority of songs. "God is God" is presented over a series of clicks, clanks and rattles. "Woman at the Well" grinds ahead over a thumping bass and drum beat. "Jesus Set Me Free" is spurred on by drums, harmonica and tambourine. "Jericho" is purely acoustic guitars.
Childers, one of the area's most revered songwriters, continues to evolve in this craft as a singer, musician and songwriter. There's a refreshing, modern take on many of the traditional tunes here, which shows just how skilled he is in crafting his music. Serpents is a perfect showcase of why Childers is an area treasure when it comes to music.
For the first time in years, I feel confident that there will be new music…
So, how were they?