By Nate Boggs
On Sunday night (January 28), the 2nd Annual Hello From The Hills benefit concert took over Nashville's City Winery with a star-studded lineup of talent, including Ben Folds, S.G. Goodman, Abby Hamilton, Gabe Lee, Lindsay Lou, Jeremy Short, country legend Wynonna Judd and the man of the evening, Tyler Childers.
Hosted by Oh Boy Records and WhizzbangBAM, the celebrated yearly event supports two remarkable causes: the Prine family's Hello in There Foundation and Childers' Hope in the Hills. The former provides support and assistance for marginalized and forgotten individuals and communities, while the latter raises funds to help eradicate addiction in the greater Appalachian region.
Where most shows include the average murmuring and socializing from the crowd throughout, Hello From The Hills proved different from the first plucks of a guitar, with everyone fully engulfed and basking in the music's warm glow.
Each artist showed off for a few songs, donning acoustic guitars and leaving the crowd entranced, while seasoned songsmith Ben Folds took to the piano for his set, which was nothing short of amazing. Meanwhile, rising Americana talent Abby Hamilton also charmed the crowd, making jokes and talking about her newly released album, #1 Zookeeper (of the San Diego Zoo).
Standout Kentucky talent S.G. Goodman treated the audience to her beloved tune 'Space and Time' with just her trusty electric guitar on hand. While Childers helped boost the song with a cover on his Rustin' In the Rain record, Goodman's original rendition entranced us here, her voice gliding between serenity and stirring emotion.
As Country Music Hall of Famer Wynonna Judd came onstage, the crowd came to life with yells and cheers ushering her out. As is only fitting for a talent of her magnitude, the night's first standing ovation came as she ended her set, which included stripped-down performances of 'Love is Alive', 'What It Takes' and 'What The World Needs'.
With the night drawing to a close, the excitement was palpable as Childers emerged onto center stage.
Though he was admittedly feeling under the weather, it's as if time stood still as he crooned the first notes of his seven-song set, featuring the staple songs 'Country Squire', 'Nose on the Grindstone', 'Lady May', 'Follow You to Virgie' and a moving cover of John Prine's 'Paradise'.
The chill-inducing performance anchored a phenomenal evening of music from some of Kentucky and beyond's finest, making a third year almost unavoidable. You won't hear us complaining about that.
For more on Tyler Childers, see below: