Eric Church has been releasing new music over the past few months. He surprised fans with “Bad Mother Trucker,” “Crazyland,” an ode to his fans “Through My Ray-Bans” and a tribute to those who’ve been there for him “Doing Life With Me.”
Eric says he recorded these and other songs in December (2019) and January 2020, long before we knew there was a global pandemic on the way. “We made this project before COVID ever existed. So, for me, we never came in reacting to COVID. We made this project, we wrote this project, we recorded this project before we ever knew what COVID was,” the North Carolina native told reporters during a virtual press conference at the recent CMA Awards. “I think a lot of that is a little bit divine that if you listen to the songs and you hear what the songs are, you very easily go, ‘This sounds like they were in the middle of quarantine,’ but we weren’t. I was not. So, for me, it just kind of happened the way it was supposed to happen. I did not make this album after COVID happened. I made it before.”
Eric is currently making his way up the country charts with “Hell of a View.”
Audio / Backstage at the recent CMA Awards in November, Eric Church talked about recording his new project before COVID hit, even though some of the songs may sound like he wrote and recorded them during the middle of the pandemic.
Eric Church(how COVID didn’t affect new project) OC: …made it before. :41
“We made this project before COVID ever existed. So, for me, we never came in reacting to COVID. We made this project, we wrote this project, we recorded this project before we ever knew what COVID was. I think a lot of that is a little bit divine that if you listen to the songs and you hear what the songs are, you very easily go, ‘This sounds like they were in the middle of quarantine,’ but we weren’t. I was not. So, for me, it just kind of happened the way it was supposed to happen. I did not make this album after COVID happened. I made it before.”
2020 will go down in history as one of the worst and most difficult years in our history. Every single person has dealt with loss, fear, uncertainty, working from home (or losing a job), rebuilding from tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, recovering from COVID-19 and much more.
For the music industry, live entertainment came to a screeching halt with production folks, crew and musicians losing their respective gigs since artists weren’t able to tour. The industry rallied and many artists pivoted and really helped us navigate through a bad year by releasing a ton of new music and performing virtual shows.
For this post, we’re revisiting some of your favorite artists’ hangover cures, which a few of us could’ve used nearly every day this year while dealing with a global pandemic. We’ve also been able to check in with a few artists about what they hope 2021 brings. One thing is for certain–we are all looking forward to shedding the horribleness of 2020, hopefully getting a fresh start in the new year AND getting through this together.
Audio / Brandon Lay says he hopes to be able to hit the road in 2021.
Brandon Lay (2021) OC: …I can’t wait. :18 “The one thing that I’m looking forward to most for 2021 is definitely the road. It has been too long, and I am so ready to get with the band. I’m ready for loud music, and I’m ready for fans and seeing familiar faces out there in the crowd. And I just, I can’t wait.”
Audio / Brothers Osborne talk about how people spend the last moments of the year, and the first moments of the new year.
Brothers Osborne (New Year) OC: (TJ) …next month. :44 JOHN: “I think it’s kind of funny how we spend literally the last moment and the very first moment of every year being extremely intoxicated, extremely, because you don’t want to wait until like 12:30 to get your buzz on. You’ve got to do it before midnight, and then once midnight happens, you’re like, ‘Omigod! Now it’s time to celebrate even more.’ Debauchery is the literally bookending your entire year.” TJ: “I love how everyone starts the year off with diets and then we end the year with like excessive amounts of food. And then you get to the end of the year, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m going to start a diet on the 1st, so I’m going to eat everything that’s in front of me.’ I love it.” JOHN: “And come February 1st, ‘what diet?’” [laughs] TJ: “What diet? I’ll start it next month.” [laughs]
Audio / Dierks Bentley says he usually looks forward to a "mellow hang" on New Year's Eve.
Dierks Bentley (New Year’s) OC: …in stride. 1:11 “New Year’s is rough. New Year’s hurts no matter what’s going o n. I’ve played a lot of New Year’s shows, you know, but I’ve honestly found that it’s not my favorite night to throw down. Look, for a living, that’s what I do. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, I host a big party; not only on stage, but I’ve got friends backstage. It starts before the concert sometimes, [and] it goes long after the concert, so a lot of times on New Year’s, I’m looking for a really mellow hang – a good party, good friends, pretty chill. Some of my best New Year’s – it doesn’t make for great radio – but some of my best New Year’s have been just like actually hearing fireworks go off while I’m in bed, [laughs] and know I’m gonna wake up the next morning for the first day of the New Year feeling great, feeling recharged and I’m ready to go ad go into the New Year feeling good as opposed to going into it with a giant Jagerbomb hangover, which I’ve done many, many times. So, the goal this year is to go into it feeling pretty good and the kids help with that, because you really just don’t want to be hungover with children. It’s not a good feeling. You would probably admit to any crime to get them, just feel better, and get them leave you alone. So, [I’m] gonna try to hit New Year’s this year in stride.”
Audio / Eric Church talks about what he’s looking forward to most in 2021.
Eric Church (looking ahead to 2021) OC: …looking forward to. 1:11 “I think, for me, the thing I’m looking forward to most next year is getting around the corner from this virus and getting some kind of normalcy. I’m confident that next year is when we’ll finally put this in the rearview at some point in time. We’re all looking for a vaccine early in the year and the more we can take the cases down between January and May, I think the higher likelihood that we’ll be on a stage somewhere in the fall, late summer/fall, and then certainly into the fourth quarter. So, I’m looking forward to that. I know there may be some early stuff where we can’t be at capacity. I get that, but I’m looking forward to being back at capacity and being, seeing people grouped up and arms around each other’s shoulders and just, I miss that. I miss playing. I miss the camaraderie. I miss going town-to-town and doing that. It’s just what I was born to do, and I miss seeing the fans. Next year, we’re all hopeful, I’m hopeful and quite confident, actually, that next year will be the year that we get to start doing that and then hopefully more and more as we go. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Audio / Jon Pardi talks about what he's looking forward to in 2021.
Jon Pardi (looking forward to 2021) OC: …that was awesome. :28 “For next year – 2021 – I’m looking forward to some kind of medication/vaccine to help people, to make people immune to this virus that is ruining EVERYTHING! So, I look forward to that and hopefully we’ll get that going and then we’ll be back to concerts and full capacity sports games and bars and honky tonks and…it looks like 2019. Remember 2019? That was awesome.”
Audio / Jon Pardi talks about his go-to hangover cure.
Jon Pardi (hangover cure) OC: …deal with it. :20 “My hangover cure is Bloody Marys, but be careful – because once you have a couple, don’t go to beer, because if you go to beer, you’re gonna start drinking again and you’ll end up a morning drunk. OR if you want to go the non-alcoholic route, there’s nothing you can do for hangovers. [laughs] You just go deal with it.”
Audio / Kacey Musgraves has her own hangover cure.
Kacey Musgraves (hangover cure) OC: …water. Yup! :32
“Coconut water is a major help with hangovers and also, a lot of times we go and eat Vietnamese pho. It’s a soup, and it’s got this awesome broth. You can get different things in it or whatever, but for some reason, it’s just like…it’s almost like a chicken noodle soup kind of an idea, you know, but it’s good. That’s good for hangovers too. That, sleep, Tylenol, coconut water and just water, in general. And when you’re drinking, have your alcohol, drink a little bit of water, drink some more alcohol, drink some water. Yup!”
Audio / KASSI ASHTON IS LOOKING FORWARD TO HOPEFULLY TOURING IN 2021.
Kassi Ashton (looking to 2021) OC: …this year. :25
“Next year, I’m looking forward to — all fingers and toes and hair crossed — I’m looking forward to, hopefully, touring. That’s what we all want. That’s why we signed up for this gig in the first place is I just want to be on stage with my friends making music, making art and taking people away from the troubles of this year.”
Audio / Kip Moore gives advice on how to avoid a hangover on New Year’s Eve.
Luke Bryan (New Years-best) OC: …great night. :17 “My best New Year’s Eve is definitely when my wife and I started back dating. We started back dating right before Christmas, and we went on a trip down to Florida and met some friends. And her birthday is New Year’s Eve. We celebrated it that night. It was just a great night.”
Audio / Parker McCollum says he's most looking forward to in 2021 -- hopefully -- is to get back on the road playing shows.
Travis Denning (looking forward to 2021) OC: …to normal. :10 “The one thing I’m looking forward to in 2021 is getting back on the road; playing concerts, getting back in the swing of things and just getting back to normal.”
Audio / Travis Denning recalls his favorite New Year’s Eve party.
Travis Denning (favorite New Year’s Eve party) OC: …it was good. :41 “I think my favorite New Year’s Eve party ever was when my sister got married, and my sister’s party got done at 10:30, 10:45 and she got married right behind a little club that I played a lot in Macon, Georgia called the Crazy Bull and love the owner. We’re boys, you know? So, we just literally walked right over and burned the house down. That was one of my favorite New Year’s Eve memories, ‘cause I got to see my sister and brother-in-law get married and that was such a great, great time, and then me and my older cousin and best friend, we ended up at Waffle House that night, so it was good.”
Eric Church had certain family Christmas traditions, ones he wants to carry over into his immediate family, which includes his wife, Katherine, and two sons, Boone and Hawk. One tradition, though, is very significant and puts everything into perspective for him and the rest of his family. “My grandmother, when she was alive, would always come over, and every year she would bring this Christmas story, and some of them were gut-wrenching. I’m not going to lie to you,” says Eric. “They were just heart-tugging stories…about a Christmas miracle…and she would always look all year long and find this story, and then we would have breakfast and she would read it, and it was just our family and we’ve carried that [tradition] on. My mom does that now and she’s kind of taken it and she finds the story, and that’s something I’m going to do with my family.”
The North Carolina native is making his way up the country charts with “Hell of a View.”
Audio / ERIC CHURCH AND HIS FAMILY HAVE A LONG HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS, BUT ONE OF HIS FAVORITES WAS THEIR CHRISTMAS BREAKFAST.
Eric Church (Christmas tradition) OC: …as fortunate. :58 “My grandmother, when she was alive, would always come over, and every year she would bring this Christmas story, and some of them were gut-wrenching. I’m not going to lie to you. They were just heart tugging stories about people who had had…about a Christmas miracle, who had something happen to them; something magical for Christmas that had turned life around…whether it was a homeless person, or just anything,” says Eric. “She would always look all year long and find this story, and then we would have breakfast and she would read it, and it was just our family and we’ve carried that on. My mom does that now and she’s kind of taken it and she finds the story, and that’s something I’m going to do with my family. And Katherine and I have talked about it. It’ll be her turn to find that, and we have a big Christmas breakfast and we sit around and we share that. It’s just a neat thing, family-wise, to have that and to always wonder what that story is going to be and what it’s going to be about, and sometimes they’re brutal. I mean it can be hard, you know. You get up on Christmas morning and you’re in a good mood and they’re just gut-wrenching, you know, but it’s fun to put things in perspective, and it makes you think about people that aren’t as fortunate.”
Reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and current GRAMMY nominee Eric Church continues his ongoing string of new song releases as the year comes to a close, unveiling another glimpse at the breadth of music to come via “Doing Life With Me,” available now.
Written by Church together with Casey Beathard (“Mr. Misunderstood,” “Hell Of A View”) and Jeffrey Steele (“Stick That In Your Country Song”), the reflective song sees Church expressing gratitude for those by his side through the journey of a musical career:
“I don’t pray much anymore / for this old troubadour’s / happiness, wishes, wants and needs / end of my ropes, hopes and dreams / Spend my livin’ giving thanks / for the ships I never sank / every big, every little in the everyday things / the notes and the words and the songs I sing / to the ones doing life with me”
Like the releases before it, “Doing Life With Me” is the result of a marathon writing session Church spent sequestered in a rural North Carolina cabin where the man celebrated by American Songwriter for “his prolific and passionate fervor for musical creation” wrote and recorded a song from start to finish each day for nearly a month.
The new music follows Church’s most recent critically acclaimed album, 2018’s Desperate Man, which was named one of the year’s best by Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, Variety and Vulture, also earning a GRAMMY nod for Best Country Album (his third nomination in the category).
“Doing Life With Me” Credits:
Songwriters: Eric Church, Casey Beathard, Jeffrey Steele
Vocals: Eric Church, Joanna Cotten
Billy Justineau – Piano, Synthesizer
Charlie Worsham – Electric Guitar, Mandolin
Craig Wright – Drums
Jay Joyce – Electric Guitar, Keyboards
Jeff Hyde – Acoustic Guitar
Jeffrey Steele – Acoustic Guitar, Background Vocals
Lee Hendricks – Bass
About Eric Church
The four-time Country Music Association and seven-time Academy of Country Music Award winner released his most recent critically acclaimed and GRAMMY nominated album, Desperate Man, atop the Billboard Country Albums chart in late 2018. The album, featuring his latest No. 1 hit “Some Of It,” also debuted at No. 5 on the all-genre Billboard 200. Church returned to the road in 2019 for his chart-topping Double Down Tour, with back-to-back nights of two unique shows sans-opening act giving fans 6+ hours of his iconic music in each city. The tour also featured a massive stop at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, where Church broke the venue’s concert attendance record with 56,521 fans just two weeks before awing the same stadium’s audience with a 30-minute, solo acoustic CMA Fest set featuring a medley of 17 hits. “Stick That In Your Country Song,” released on June 25, is the lead single off a forthcoming project born from a sequestered session in rural North Carolina where he wrote and recorded a song per day for nearly a month.
Here are some holiday liners from UMG Nashville artists, including Adam Hambrick, Alan Jackson, Billy Currington, Brandon Lay, Brothers Osborne, Carrie Underwood, Caylee Hammack, Chrissy Metz, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Gary Allan, George Strait, Jon Langston, Jon Pardi, Jordan Davis, Josh Turner, Kacey Musgraves, Kassi Ashton, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Kylie Morgan, Lauren Alaina, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, Parker McCollum, Priscilla Block, Sam Hunt, Shania Twain, Travis Denning and more!
The nominees for the 63rd annual Grammy Awards were announced this week, and several UMG Nashville artists are in the running. Little Big Town picked up two nods for Best Country Album for Nightfall, as well as one for Best Country Duo/Group for “Sugar Coat,” along with Brothers Osborne for “All Night.”
John and TJ Osborne earn their six Grammy nod and they say they’re still surprised.
Still surprised the @recordingacademy would let us in the room. Even more surprised they would nominate us for a Grammy. Thanks for letting a couple of one stop light town brothers join some brilliant creators. Always a honor. pic.twitter.com/DDikteible
I haven't been able to put into words the emotions I feel. This #GRAMMYs nomination is for every black girl that felt unseen. That felt unheard. That felt like they weren’t enough. That felt shoved in a corner & completely unconsidered. This is for them. Thank you @RecordingAcadpic.twitter.com/3tvKWxOhQ0
Of significant note, Taylor Swift earned six nominations. Folklore, a follow-up to her Lover album, was nominated for best pop vocal album. The album’s lead pop single, “Cardigan,” was also recognized in the overall Song of the Year and Best Pop Solo Performance categories. Her collaboration with Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon, “Exile,” received a nod in Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. If that wasn’t all, the “betty” artist earned a nomination for best song written for visual media for her collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber on Cats’ “Beautiful Ghosts.”
The 63rd Annual Grammy Awards will air live January 31st beginning at 8pm ET. The pre-telecast ceremony will take place earlier in the day via streaming starting at 3pm ET.
Best Country Album
Lady Like, Ingrid Andress
Your Life Is a Record, Brandy Clark
Wildcard, Miranda Lambert Nightfall, Little Big Town Never Will, Ashley McBryde
Best Country Solo Performance
“Stick That in Your Country Song,” Eric Church “Who You Thought I Was,” Brandy Clark “When My Amy Prays,” Vince Gill
“Black Like Me,” Mickey Guyton
“Bluebird,” Miranda Lambert
Best Country Duo / Group Performance
“All Night,” Brothers Osborne “10,000 Hours,” Dan + Shay and Justin Bieber
“Ocean,” Lady A “Sugar Coat,” Little Big Town “Some People Do,” Old Dominion
The Thanksgiving holiday tradition traces its origins to a 1621 celebration at Plymouth, in the state that’s now known as Massachusetts. The 1621 Plymouth feast and thanksgiving was prompted by a good harvest. While initially, the Plymouth colony did not have enough food to feed half of the 102 colonists, the Wampanoag Native Americans helped the Pilgrims by providing seeds and teaching them to fish. The practice of holding an annual harvest festival like this did not become a regular affair in New England until the late 1660s. People now celebrate the holiday by giving thanks for their blessings over the past year, as well as feasting on turkey and other festive goodies.
Thanksgiving Day is Thursday, November 26th, and this year will most likely be a little different from previous years due to the global pandemic. Most people might be enjoying time with a small group of their friends and families, including some of your favorite country stars, such as Adam Hambrick, Alan Jackson, Brandon Lay, Brothers Osborne, Caylee Hammack, Carrie Underwood, Darius Rucker, Dierks Bentley, Eric Church, Jon Langston, Jon Pardi, Josh Turner, Keith Urban, Kip Moore, Little Big Town, Maddie & Tae, Mickey Guyton, Sam Hunt, Travis Denning and more. They share their thoughts of thanks this year, their lessons in gratitude, memories and favorite Thanksgiving dishes. (More audio will be added.)
Adam Hambrick (Thanksgiving) OC: …I was raised. :32 “I know this sounds very cheesy, but I am very thankful for my family. A lot of the good things that have happened in my life are just a result of being raised in a family with two parents that love each other, with sisters that I love and being raised in a community of people, even outside of my family, that’s just a lot of love and a lot of care. Those are the things that raise a person up to be successful, and I am a success because of the way I was raised.”
Audio / Adam Hambrick says his Grandfather’s turkey and dressing and a special side dish signals Thanksgiving.
Adam Hambrick (Thanksgiving food) OC: …Thanksgiving. :21 “Oh man. Give me Granddaddy’s turkey and dressing and just the friggin’ canned cranberry sauce, [laughs] like I’ll suck it down like a champ. There’s just something about the canned cranberry sauce with my Granddaddy’s turkey and dressing that will always taste like Thanksgiving.”
Audio / Alan Jackson talks about his favorite Thanksgiving dish.
AJ (Thanksgiving) OC: …enjoy it. :19 “My favorite Thanksgiving dish would be the homemade dressin’ that we, cornbread-based kind of dressin’ that we always have with turkey. That recipe is a kind of a combination of my mama, and Denise has taken it and perfected it over the years, so that me and my children really enjoy it.”
Audio / Brandon Lay says 2020 has been a heck of a year, but the bright spot was the birth of his daughter, Lara June, earlier this year.
Brandon Lay (Thanksgiving) OC: …thankful for. :22 “I tell you what, this year has been a crazy year. I mean 2020 will have an asterisk beside it for the rest of history, no doubt. My bright spot was my little girl being born in June right in the middle of all of this craziness. When I look around at all of the bad things that have happened, I look at her and realize how much I’ve got to be thankful for.”
Audio / Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne talks about their annual Misfits Thanksgiving dinner.
Brothers Osborne (misfits Thanksgiving) OC: …going home. :45 “What we’ve done the past several years is because it’s so hard to go home, we would have what we call the Misfit Thanksgiving dinner, and all the people in Nashville who aren’t able to go home to their families, we would just invite them over to our house and have a big potluck style Thanksgiving dinner. We’ll take like a couple of tables and throw them together and throw some sheets on it just to make it look nice. It’s a very redneck display of like tableware, because all the plates don’t match an d the forks and knives don’t match, but we don’t care. People will bring wine, and at the end of the day, we’ll probably have 12-15 people all sitting at dinner together that weren’t able to go home with their families, and just enjoy it with friends. It’s been really fun. Definitely a lot less stress than going home.”
Audio / Carrie Underwood says she and her family don’t have too many Thanksgiving traditions.
Carrie Underwood (Thanksgiving) OC: …the other one. :34 “We don’t have too many set-in-stone Thanksgiving traditions. I find myself a lot of times working on or around Thanksgiving or unable to get home or whatever. We try to be together, but sometimes that just doesn’t work out. But yeah, I mean, I think it’s just about we eat. I eat a lot every year on Thanksgiving. [laughs] I never skip THAT tradition. But yeah, that’s the gist of it, and I’m kind of lucky. I get two Thanksgivings, because I also get to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with my husband’s family, so if I don’t hit one, I’ll definitely be able to get the other one.”
Audio / Caylee Hammack says Thanksgiving is her favorite holiday, because she gets to just spend time with her family.
Caylee Hammack (Thanksgiving) OC: …favorite holiday. :27 “Thanksgiving is the one holiday where we stay at home. We stay at my family’s house, and it’s just me, my mom and dad, my brother and sister and their families. We all sit around and just eat all day. And I love Thanksgiving because you don’t have to worry about getting gifts for people; you don’t have to worry about wrapping them. You just show up and you eat all day with the people you love. So, I absolutely love Thanksgiving. It’s my favorite holiday.”
Audio / Caylee Hammack talks about her favorite Thanksgiving dish.
Caylee Hammack (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …cranberry jelly. :15 “My favorite Thanksgiving meal (dish) is definitely cornbread dressing. My mom makes the best, er, some people call it stuffing, but I’ve always called it dressing for some reason. But I love that with canned cranberry jelly.”
Audio / Darius Rucker talks about his favorite part of Thanksgiving.
Darius Rucker (favorite part of Thanksgiving) OC: …my family. :17 “My favorite part of Thanksgiving is easy – it’s food. It’s eating. It’s hanging out with family and getting some great food, ‘cause that’s really what Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for all of the great things you’ve got, and I always give thanks for the greatest thing I’ve got and that’s my family.”
Audio / Darius Rucker says Thanksgiving Day is a big sporting day for him.
Darius Rucker (Thanksgiving Day favorite sporting day) OC: …big for me. :10 “Thanksgiving Day is my favorite sports day of the year. It’s crazy how much football you get to watch (laughs) on Thanksgiving Day, so I really like that a lot. Thanksgiving is big for me.”
Audio / Dierks Bentley, who is thankful for his wife, two daughters and son, talks about his Thanksgiving must-have! It’s an oldie, but a goodie!
Dierks Bentley (Thanksgiving must-have) OC: …for Thanksgiving. :34 “You gotta have a big turkey. Thanksgiving is not possible without a turkey. We cook it traditionally, but when we’re in, a couple of Thanksgivings ago, we were here in Nashville, we did the whole fry the turkey up, and it was great. It just tasted so good; all those juices get locked in there, and I love that too. You really can’t, to me, cook a turkey wrong. I’m gonna eat it any way, and I have over the years. Trust me, I’ve played a lot of county and state fairs, where I’ve seen gigantic turkey legs, you know, I’ve had the flat meat. I’ve done turkey every way you could do it. I’m pretty good any way you want to cook it up, but you’ve got to have a turkey for Thanksgiving.”
Audio / Eric Church talks about what he's thankful for during the crazy year that's been 2020.
Eric Church (Thanksgiving 2020) OC: …out with them. :38 You know, this has been a helluva year, and one thing I’m most thankful for is my family, their health, you know, we’ve all, I think, grown closer during this. I’m looking forward to a more normal 2021. I don’t know if it’ll be normal, but it will be more normal and getting closer to that and then an absolutely normal 2022 is how I see the next two years. For me, I’m just thankful that I’ve been with my family and we’ve all stayed healthy and I’ve gotten to hang out with them.”
Audio / Jon Langston talks about his Thanksgiving tradition.
Jon Langston (Thanksgiving) OC: …pretty cool. :21 “We always watch football on Thanksgiving. It was pretty cool in high school. It was a big deal in high school if you had practice on Thanksgiving Day because you made third round of the playoffs. So, in high school we always had practice on Thanksgiving, so I guess that was pretty cool. Everybody’s waking up on a cold Thanksgiving morning going to football practice, but yeah, pretty cool.”
Audio / Josh Turner shares his favorite Thanksgiving side dish.
Josh Turner (fave side dish) OC: …’em myself. [laughs] :24 “Uh, deviled eggs! [laughs] Where I’m from in South Carolina, I don’t think I’ve tasted a bad deviled egg. It’s like everybody has their own twist on it, but they’re all good, but I always loved it when my mama made ‘em. I’m learning as I get older, making deviled eggs is no easy task. It’s more complicated than it looks, and so that’s probably why I never made ‘em myself.” [laughs]
Audio / Josh Turner explains what he enjoys about the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.
Josh Turner (holidays) OC: …the peace and quiet. :38 “I love being outside in nature and the outdoors, and the holidays is a great time for me to go and partake in that part of my life. A lot of times, Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a little cold to go fishing, but when it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, it’s a great time to go hunting, especially in South Carolina, that’s when the temperatures are starting to drop and the conditions are getting right, and especially in November, kind of the tail end of the rut, as far as deer season. So, it’s a good time to get in the deer stand whether you kill anything or not, it’s just a great time to just get away from everything and get away from the noise and the lights and the diesel fumes [laughs] and just relax and just enjoy the peace and quiet.”
Audio / Kassi Ashton talks about what she's most thankful for this year.
Kassi Ashton (Thanksgiving 2020) OC: …the new year. :32 “Even though this year has basically put the music industry on pause and has been difficult for all of us, I think the thing I’m most thankful for is one, the people around me that I love so much; the relationships that keep me sane and I do the same for them in return. And a step back being able to refill my creative tank, focusing in on what I want to say, what I want to put out in the world and finding a way to take all that and move forward into the new year.”
Audio / Keith Urban gives thanks for many things, including his wife and two daughters.
Keith (Thanksgiving) OC: …for me. :21 “Thankful that, well, my marriage is just, it’s life-giving, not just life-changing, it’s been life-giving for me. And from there, we created life, and that’s just beautiful, absolutely beautiful. And the effect that all of that has had in my work, has given life to it too, given it a sense of purpose and really deepened the experience for me.”
Audio / The members of Little Big Town love Thanksgiving since they get time off to be with their families.
LBT (Thanksgiving) 2 OC: (Kimberly) …and eat. :31
KIMBERLY: “Thanksgiving—we love Thanksgiving, ‘cause we get to be with our families and we don’t often get to spend time with our families, our extended families, until the holidays. I love being around the table with my family and talking and laughing and cooking and eating…” JIMI: “And eating and eating and eating and eating…” PHILLIP: “The laughter around the eating, the good cheer, the celebration, the music…” JIMI: “The eating, going taking a nap, then coming back and eating.” KIMBERLY: “Go to bed with a full belly, take a nap, and then get up and eat.”
Audio / Mickey Guyton reveals her favorite Thanksgiving dish.
Mickey Guyton (favorite Thanksgiving dish) OC: …both so much! :39
“My favorite Thanksgiving dish that has to, has to, has to be at Thanksgiving dinner is dessert. Dessert is my favorite Thanksgiving dish. I mean, it doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s sweet. My mom actually makes an Italian cream cake that’s absolutely awesome. It’s homemade, and the entire family, that’s the first thing to go at Thanksgiving dinner. And my Grandma D, she makes a pecan pie that is awesome. She taught me how to make them when I was little, and I just love them, and that’s the other thing that I look forward to at Thanksgiving dinner, and I love them both so much!”
Audio / Parker McCollum is very thankful for his family’s health this year with a global pandemic still raging.
Parker McCollum (Thanksgiving 2020) OC: …granted in 2020. :15 “I would just say probably my family being healthy and alive more so, I know it’s kind of a cliché thing to say, but I think this year it kind of holds a little more weight, just with everything going on. To be alive and breathing is, don’t want to take that for granted in 2020.”
Audio / One of Parker McCollum’s favorite dishes at Thanksgiving is his Aunt’s creamed corn.
Parker McCollum (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …creamed corn. Mmm hmmm. “04 “My Aunt’s creamed corn is pretty bomb. I love creamed corn. Mmm hmmm.”
Audio / Priscilla Block, who began 2020 as a struggling singer-songwriter trying to make ends meet and getting kicked out of her apartment to signing a record deal and having a bonafide hit on country radio, talks about how very thankful she is this year.
Priscilla Block (Thanksgiving 2020) OC: …grateful for that. :22 “It is so crazy to even put what I’m thankful for into one thing, or the greatest thing, because this has been the best year of my life, the best and the worst year of my life. And I’m so thankful that the worst year of my life flipped upside down and it has been the best year, and I am forever grateful for that.”
Audio / Priscilla Block describes a typical Thanksgiving holiday with her family.
Priscilla Block (Thanksgiving) OC: …so much. :34 “Thanksgiving has always been chaos, actually any holiday that my entire family is there is straight chaos. But for Thanksgiving, we all try so hard to be together and it’s such a fun holiday to, my family’s a little cheesy. Like, we actually still go around the table and being like, ‘What are you thankful for?’ ‘What are you thankful for?’ So, that means a lot where it’s not about presents, it’s not about anything else. It’s just about truly being thankful, and that’s why I love Thanksgiving so much.”
Audio / Sam Hunt talks about his favorite Thanksgiving eats.
Sam Hunt (Thanksgiving eats) OC: …all disappears. :12 “When I pile my plate up, it’s mostly turkey and then I’ll put a little dressing on the side, and I’ll usually go ahead and grab my dessert on the first run [laughs] and have it ready before it all disappears.”
Audio / Travis Denning talks about what he’s thankful for this year.
Travis Denning (2020) OC: …for a living. :34 “For Thanksgiving this year, I’m just most thankful that I’ve been able to have a career doing what I love. I mean this crazy time has totally put into perspective how fortunate I am to go play concerts, you know, go perform for people. I mean, it’s just such a crazy dream that sometimes it’s easy to get sucked into and not really stop and smell the roses, but God, now not being able to be on the road has really shown me how thankful I am that people come out to concerts and that’s what I do for a living.”
Audio / Travis Denning talks about a typical Thanksgiving holiday growing up.
Travis Denning (typical Thanksgiving holiday) OC: …a lot of people. :22 “A typical Thanksgiving growing up was essentially and the men of the family – Dad and Uncle Mike and my granddaddy — watching football, while grandmama and my mom pretty much yelled at each other in the kitchen the whole day. But they threw down and made the best food you could ever imagine, which you know is kind of how it is for a lot of people.”
In a year unlike any other, it’s fitting that the 54th annual CMA Awards culminated with the genre’s dark horse Eric Church earning the title of Entertainer of the Year.
“If there was ever a year not to win…” Church laughed as he took the stage to accept the night’s ultimate trophy. “This year, at least for me, has been about loss – loss of life, loss of playing shows, loss of freedom, loss of kids being in school… And you know what the win is? The win is we all were here tonight, together as Country music – in person, live and I believe this, I really believe this: It’s gonna be music that brings us out of this. That is the one thing that’s gonna save the world. Politicians are about division; music is about unity.”
Before leaving the stage, the stunned entertainer added as a rallying call, “And I promise you, it’s gonna take everyone in this room to unite.”
"It's gonna be music that brings us out of this. That is the one thing that's gonna save the entire world."
Now six studio albums into his career, the North Carolinian always approaches things differently. Whether playing back-to-back nights in nearly 30 cities on his 2019 Double Down Tour or pushing himself to new creative limits with his recording process, Church has steadily amassed a faithful congregation – the Church Choir – since 2006’s release of “How ‘Bout You.” Many of those fans took to social media to congratulate the star, with an outpouring of comments proclaiming, “Congratulations Chief!” And it was those fans he was speaking to in the press conference following the awards show.
“When you go to a concert and your favorite artist plays your favorite song, and you throw your arm around the person next to you, you don’t worry about whether he’s a Republican or a Democrat, whether he’s pro-life or pro-choice. You’re in that moment and you’re pulling on the rope the same way. I think what we’re missing right now in America is more of the stuff that unites us versus what divides us,” Church shared. “I swear — it’s going to be music that saves us… It’s going to be about how we do it, and how we do it responsibly, and how we show that this is how we’re gonna leave COVID in the dust.”
Eric performed his latest single, “Hell of a View,” on the CMA Awards show (see link to lyrics below).
Eric Church performs “Hell of a View” during rehearsals for “The 54th Annual CMA Awards,” airing live on ABC Wednesday, November 11, 2020 from Music City Center in Downtown Nashville.
Church’s foresight with his new music, while written pre-pandemic, still addresses the underlying sense of division that was already palpable in our nation. Whether threw his spoken word piece entitled “Who Will Answer The Call?”, released earlier this year, where he shared a message of resolve, or by offering hope in “Through My Ray-Bans,” Church’s music has already served as a unifier .
“There’s a point in the show where I walk out in the crowd and I put my arms around them, we get pictures and it’s what life’s about. It’s that moment… What ‘Through My Ray-Bans’ is about is that I wish we could freeze that and I wish that was how life was — right there, just how I saw you.”
Previous CMA Award Wins:
Album of the Year (Chief)
Musical Event of the Year (“Raise ’Em Up” with Keith Urban)
Album of the Year (Mr. Misunderstood)
Eric Church (CMA 2020) 1 OC: …next year or two. :31 “There’s not really been winners this year. I mean, nobody’s played. Nobody’s done the things we normally do. It’s been a year, to me, about losses. It’s about loss of life. It’s about loss of education for your kids. It’s about loss of time playing. It’s been a year of managing those losses. But I really meant what I said (during my acceptance speech) that we were in a room together as country music, and that’s not happened this year. So, I think that that was a win for country music, and I think it was a win for where we’re gonna go in the next year or two.”
Audio / Backstage at this year's CMA Awards, Eric Church says music will unite us.
Eric Church (CMA 2020) 2 OC: …what this is. :56 “Everything we see in daily life is about division. It’s about where you line up. Music has nothing to do with division. Music is about unity. It’s about uniting, and I truly believe in my heart that music will bring us out of all the sxxx we’re in right now. So, for me, it’s all about music. It’s about putting your arm around the guy next to you. It’s about having that moment that you can share, regardless about what your politics are, regardless of what your favorite freaking football team is, I think that that unity that makes us American. It’s the most patriotic thing in the world. It has nothing to do with anything other than the love of music. That was what I tried to convey even though I was pretty shocked on stage tonight, but that’s what this is.