The three-time Country Music Association and five-time Academy of Country Music Award winner cemented his reputation as a maverick by releasing his 2015 album Mr. Misunderstood as a surprise, delivering it to fans before announcing its existence and putting it on sale. He is rising toward the peak of the country charts with “Record Year,” the second single, which Rolling Stone dubbed “the most moving moment” on the widely lauded album.
Church announced his 60+ city 2017 Holdin’ My Own Tour via Facebook Live at a two-night show at the Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colo. The tour, that kicks off in Lincoln, Neb. and ends with a two-night run in Nashville, Tenn., will feature two sets from Church sans openers.
The man New York Times said produces songs that insist music is “fuel for love, for anguish and, naturally, for other music” earned the 2016 CMA Album of the Year Award for Mr. Misunderstood and the 2016 ACM Music Video of the Year Award for the album’s first title-track single.
The North Carolina native’s previous album, The Outsiders, debuted at No. 1 on both the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart and Top Country Albums Chart with the highest debut and sales of any release in the format that year, making Church 2014’s top-selling country music artist. The album garnered GRAMMY, CMA and ACM Album of the Year nominations and featured his No. 1 hits “Give Me Back My Hometown” and “Talladega,” as well as multiple nominee “Like A Wrecking Ball.” The Outsiders was the follow-up to Church’s 3x Platinum-certified CHIEF, named the 2012 Album of the Year by both CMA and ACM, and GRAMMY-nominated for Best Country Album. The LP featured five Top 20 singles: “Homeboy” (certified Platinum for sales in excess of one million); the Top 10 “Like Jesus Does” and the Top 5 “Creepin’” (both certified Platinum); and two No. 1 hits “Drink in My Hand” (certified Platinum) and “Springsteen” (certified Double Platinum for sales in excess of 2 million singles). Church’s sophomore album, Carolina, (2009) is RIAA Platinum certified and his 2006 debut album, Sinners Like Me is RIAA Gold certified.
Eric Church’s relationship with his fans is undeniable, unconditional and often unconventional. And he delivers on that mission again with the release of live covers from his epic project 61 Days In Church.
The covers, which feature popular music by Soundgarden, Billy Joel, Little Feat, Bob Seger and more, is available Saturday, April 21 during Record Store Day. The musical milestone, released by EMI Nashville, is available on LP with 2,500 exclusive copies available to fans.
Church recorded the ambitious project in 2017 during his Holdin’ My Own Tour, which ran from January through May and was named a Tour of the Year by none other than Rolling Stone, which opined: “Over the years, Church concerts have always been parties. But in 2017, they went from merely ass-kicking to epic.”
During the 61-date tour, Church recorded 30 songs per night for a total of more than 200 hours of live music. The Record Store Day exclusive release is a selection of the very best cover songs from those shows (available only at participating record stores).
The collection includes the following eight special cover songs:
1. “Better Man” (Live At Tacoma Drive, Tacoma, WA, March 18, 2017)
2. “Turn The Page” (Live At CenturyLink Center, Omaha, NE, April 8, 2017)
3. “Dixie Chicken” (Live at Pepsi Center, Denver, CO, April 5, 2017 with Chuck Leavell)
4. “Six Days On The Road” (Live at PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA, April 21, 2017)
5. “Rusty Cage” (Live at Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., May 19, 2017)
6. “Allentown” (Live at Santander Arena, Reading, PA, May 18, 2017)
7. “Midnight Rider” (Live at Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN, May 27, 2017)
8. “American Woman” (Live at Pepsi Center, Denver, CO, April 5, 2017 with Glenn Hughes)
The Holdin’ My Own Tour was presented in two sets with an intermission. The tour reached nearly a million fans culminating with two sold-out shows at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Performing nearly 40 songs a night, Church’s fans interact and engage with a fervor usually reserved for shows with traveling rock cult bands such as Phish and the Grateful Dead.
Fans connect with Church’s artistic independence and reciprocal loyalty. He cancelled 33,000 tickets destined for sale by scalpers. He went so far as to commission his own technology to vet suspicious online purchases to protect his fans and their hard-earned cash. In 2015 he released his album Mr. Misunderstood for free to the Church Choir (then 80,000 followers) – a day before it was available for sale on iTunes.
Bucking convention isn’t an easy path, but for Church there is no question about where he prioritizes his relationship with his fans and the lengths he will go to provide the ultimate musical experience for his steadfast audience of devoted Choir members.
For information and to sign up for the Church Choir, visit www.ericchurch.com.
Wednesday is Valentine’s Day (February 14th), and we’ve got some thoughts and feelings more about love, romance and marriage from several of your favorite country artists. Some are new and some have become our favorites over the years. Which country stars are romantic? Which ones aren’t? Which ones have a good reason to celebrate the holiday that’s all about love?
AJ (Valentine’s Day) OC: …continue to. :24
“We got a lot of history together now, and we’re happier than we’ve ever been. So, she’s still beautiful, and she’s always inspired songs. I mean, one of my early hits was a song called ‘I’d Love You All Over Again,’ I wrote for her for our 10th anniversary. I mean, there’s been a zillion songs that have pieces of our good days and bad days inspired, and they continue to.”
Billy Currington (Valentine’s Day memory) OC: …took off running. :21
“Yeah, I remember my first girlfriend. I was in first or second grade, but anyway, I remember it was Valentine’s Day and your mom going, ‘You’ve got to give your girlfriend something, and you’ve got to go give it to her.’ I’ll never forget — we got her a box of chocolates or whatever it was. I remember going down to her classroom and knocking on the door, getting her to come to the door. I remember handing it to her, and then I took off running.”
Darius Rucker (wife) OC: …her and country music saved my life. :43
“I don’t know what it was about her. I mean, it was EVERYTHING about her. I knew, I told her I was going to marry her on our first date, [laughs] yeah. Beth’s a strong woman. It takes a strong woman to be married to a musician, especially a musician who was drinking and partying as hard as I was, and I think life for us is where we are now. It took a long time for us to get to where we are now, and we say to each other all the time, ‘I love us. I love our family. I love us.’ And I thank her every day for staying with me and being the strong woman she is, because with Hootie & the Blowfish, I could be gone for three months and then I’d come home for two days and then I’d be gone again for a month, and she put up with all that crap. You know, her and country music saved my life.”
Dierks Bentley (first date tips for guys) OC: …first date. :19
“You know, just opening the door, it’s such a big deal. It’s just a nice thing to do. It’s a car door, unlocking the door for somebody to get in the car first and hold the door to get in, and I just think that’s just, if you’re doing that, then you’re obviously thinking about ways to be respectful, be considerate, be kind and be thoughtful and make for a good first date.”
Dierks Bentley (Valentine’s Day-most interesting gift he’s given his wife) OC: …formulate yourself. 1:19
“When ‘What Was I Thinkin’’ was released in 2003, I didn’t know what my life would look like, and all of a sudden, I found myself out on the road full-time, just gone. So, the place where I was staying, I had some friends pack it up and move it into a storage facility. This year, I got that whole thing dumped back out into my house. I’m going through just years of old stuff, and in there I found some letters that she and I had written back and forth when we were dating. I was working at The Nashville Network and she was working out in San Francisco and found some letters I had written her and I’d gotten back and some stuff she’d sent me, including a CD of songs she’d been listening to, back when you made CD mixes and there’s like these three hearts on that CD. I just found that it was so meaningful for me those gifts you give each other before any money, before anything else was going on, just music, giving of mixtapes was so cool. She reminded me of a mixtape I sent her. I’d sent it to her via FedEx, because it was so important she get this as quickly as possible. This was sadly before, I guess we had internet back then, but you really couldn’t send songs over the internet. I think the most interesting thing I’ve given her and she’s given me was just mixtapes, because there’s nothing like music to put into words and the thoughts you have in your head that you can’t formulate yourself.”
Eric Church (Valentine’s) OC: …love song is. :18
“True love to me is when you love a person in spite of all their fallibilities, and for me, I have a lot of ‘em. I’m definitely at times hard to love, and that’s what’s great about Katherine and the way she loves me. She loves me in spite of those things and really for those things.”
Josh Turner (Romantic) OC: …long time to come. :26
“If you ask my wife Jennifer if I was a romantic, she would definitely say, ‘Yes,’ but she knows that sometimes my hectic schedule and our busy lifestyles can kind of interfere with the romantic side of things. But we do try to make efforts towards being together and having adult conversations and taking time away from the children and doing things that husbands and wives do, so we’ll definitely try to continue that for a long time to come.”
Lauren Alaina (Valentine’s Day) OC: …pretty embarrassing. 1:37
“I think my first Valentine’s Day with Alex, I was trying to be super cute and cook him a Valentine’s Day dinner. I was 18 at the time, and I’d just moved into this brand new apartment in Chattanooga. I was trying to get used to not living with my parents before I moved to Nashville, so I did like six months in Chattanooga in an apartment. And [giggles] my mom makes these really great mashed potatoes, which I’ve modified the recipe, but they’re delicious and I wanted to make him these potatoes, because I knew I could make these potatoes. Well, I did not grow up with a very updated kitchen, so I didn’t have a [garbage] disposal, it was very new to me. So, I peeled the bag of potatoes and put the potato peels in to the sink and tried to use the disposal and it broke it before he got there. Annnd, I turned the water on, and I was baking chicken and I was cooking broccoli and mashed potatoes, and just turned the water on and then I forgot I had the water on, so I overflowed the kitchen sink with the potato peels, and it looked like something died in my sink and my sink was like spitting it up. It was horrible. I was panicking and trying to get it all cleaned up before he got there, and he knocked in the middle of it, like knocked on the door. He was early, of course. He’s always early, and he freaking knocked. I had like potato peels flying through the air, my potatoes were boiling over. I was still boiling the potatoes. I was running behind and he was running early, so it was just crazy. But, we’ve had some great Valentine’s.”
Little Big Town (Phillip – reasons fell in love) OC: …real love. :17
“I think everything that I had gone through before had prepared me to be ready to see that there was genuine love there for me, and my Rebecca. So, it was just a great time, I wouldn’t have been ready before I met her…Now it’s just been a really great journey to heal through the past and to know real love.”
Luke Bryan (Valentine’s Day) OC: …full day. :11
“Well, I mean Valentine’s Day is, it’s kinda me and Caroline’s day just to go and just being with one another for a full day.”
“Hey! This is Billy Currington. Hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, this is T.J., and I’m John, and we’re Brothers Osborne. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, what’s up guys? I’m Canaan Smith, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Send me some chocolate.”
“Hey! This is Clare Dunn, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“What’s up y’all? This is Darius Rucker, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Eric Church, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! This is Eric Paslay, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, this is Gary Allan, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“This is George Strait, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, and I hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Josh Turner, and I want to wish you and your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi, this is Kacey Musgraves, and I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. This is Keith Urban. Make the day special for your ‘Once in a Lifetime’ love.”
“Hey! What’s happening, everybody? This is Kip Moore. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey everybody! We are Lady Antebellum, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day, you love birds.”
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
“Hey y’all, it’s Luke Bryan. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi, this is Shania Twain. Happy Valentine’s Day.”