PAINTSVILLE Singer/songwriter Tyler Childers, a member of the Paintsville High School Class of 2009, will return to his hometown Wednesday with a full band to open for Sundy Best during a Wednesday evening flood-relief benefit concert in the parking lot at Johnson Central High School.

“I’m actually from Lawrence County, but I went to school at Paintsville,” Childers said Tuesday morning, later adding he has played a few shows in Paintsville but never with his full band, as he will Wednesday.

“I’m pretty excited to bring them home and let my buddies hear them,” Childers said, explaining his band is made up of members of the band Deabeats & Barkers, with James Barker on pedal steel, Rod Elkins on drums, Craig Burletic on bass and violinist Molly Paige on fiddle. The band often performs in Huntington, as well as other cities, he said, but has never had a chance to play in Paintsville. “Most people there just know my music from me and an acoustic guitar.”

Childers said he was on the road when he first heard about devastating flash flooding in the Flat Gap area.

“It was terrible. I was just worried about the people out there. It’s a terrible thing to happen,” he said, adding he has heard many survivor stories from his mother, who works for the Johnson County Health Department and has been working directly with people in the impacted areas.

Childers said he learned to sing as a young man in church, and picked up guitar and began writing songs when he was around 13 years old. He will perform at 7 p.m. Wednesday, prior to Sundy Best’s headline show.

Sundy Best founding members Nick Jamerson and Kris Bentley are also eastern Kentucky natives with strong connections to Johnson County. In addition to offering a performance on behalf of flood victims, the duo have also lended their names as well as autographed items to area fundraising events including last weekend’s radiothon on WSIP that generated more than $60,000 for Johnson County’s flood victims.

A similar radio fundraising event hosted by Pikeville Medical Center and East Kentucky Broadcasting also generated more than $60,000 in cash, goods and services. The event, broadcast on all of East Kentucky Broadcasting’s stations, included appearances by Banjo Neal” (Neal James) of Animal Planet’s “Call of the Wildman,” who was on-hand to answer phones and encourage donations.

Contributions to assist families affected by flooding in the Paintsville area may make checks to: Johnson County Longterm Recovery, C/O Johnson County Fiscal Court, P.O. Box 868, Paintsville, KY 41240. For more information, call the county judge executive’s office at (606) 789-2550.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at

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