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.
Exclusive never-before-seen video of Eric Church’s 30-minute acoustic medley set, performed at CMA Fest 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee, features hits from each of his six studio albums, including: “Mistress Named Music,” “Put a Drink In My Hand,” “Mr. Misunderstood,” “Talladega,” “Desperate Man,” “Some Of It,” “Smoke a Little Smoke,” “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag,” “Round Here Buzz,” “Cold One,” “Like a Wrecking Ball,” “Homeboy,” “Record Year,” “Give Me Back My Hometown,” “Sinners Like Me,” “Creepin’” and “Springsteen.”
He explains how he came up with the idea on the day of is performance, “I started doing this myself sometime in the afternoon. Our show was about 10 o’clock that night. I was having a bit of a brain thing where we just played Nissan and set the record, and in my opinion, the best show of our career, and then I’m back three weeks later, and I’ve got to figure out how to do something that’s gonna be memorable again. That was the hardest thing earlier in the day. I started working on it – I could do this. I could do that. I thought about doing all covers. I thought about just changing it up completely. I went through all these things in my head, and finally decided that probably the best avenue, the best path was me just to go out and play ‘Mistress (Named Music)’ like I was gonna play a bunch of the stuff – that had taken on its own form during the tour, people knew about it, it’d become popular, they probably thought I was gonna do ‘Piano Man.’ And then to go in and cover myself for those 17 songs, I thought, as it grew and as I kept going, it’d be a really neat thing. The fun thing for me was during the day was figuring out, ‘How can I play for 30 minutes and not stop’ – and that was my set time – ‘…can I pull all that off and then get back to Mistress at the end?’ So, I had a lot of fun just trying to figure that out. That was a challenge, and I love stuff like that…and I was by myself. I didn’t let anybody know. At this point in time, nobody knew. And I was working on it, working on it, and I wasn’t sure it could happen. I’d think, ‘Eh,’ and I’d go back up and think about it for a minute, and go, ‘Eh.’ My fallback is I’m just gonna play five songs, and I’d go back and work on it again. Finally I thought, ‘I can do this. This is gonna be, it’s gonna be something. It’s gonna be ballsy.’ (laughs) I went and told the band, ‘The best thing that can happen is you guys leave, because if you’re still here, there’s a chance I’ll go back and do the other. I need you to go home and then I’m on my own.’ And then I told ‘em what I was doing, and they thought it was cool. I think that’ll be neat. So, they all grabbed their bags and got in their cars and they left. So, at that point in time, we’re about an hour before the show and the band’s gone. The bus is empty.”
Eric Church (CMA Fest show) OC: …bus is empty. 2:08
“I started doing this myself sometime in the afternoon. Our show was about 10 o’clock that night. I was having a bit of a brain thing where we just played Nissan and set the record, and in my opinion, the best show of our career, and then I’m back three weeks later, and I’ve got to figure out how to do something that’s gonna be memorable again. That was the hardest thing earlier in the day. I started working on it – I could do this. I could do that. I thought about doing all covers. I thought about just changing it up completely. I went through all these things in my head, and finally decided that probably the best avenue, the best path was me just to go out and play ‘Mistress (Named Music)’ like I was gonna play a bunch of the stuff – that had taken on its own form during the tour, people knew about it, it’d become popular, they probably thought I was gonna do ‘Piano Man.’ And then to go in and cover myself for those 17 songs, I thought, as it grew and as I kept going, it’d be a really neat thing. The fun thing for me was during the day was figuring out, ‘How can I play for 30 minutes and not stop’ – and that was my set time – ‘…can I pull all that off and then get back to Mistress at the end?’ So, I had a lot of fun just trying to figure that out. That was a challenge, and I love stuff like that…and I was by myself. I didn’t let anybody know. At this point in time, nobody knew. And I was working on it, working on it, and I wasn’t sure it could happen. I’d think, ‘Eh,’ and I’d go back up and think about it for a minute, and go, ‘Eh.’ My fallback is I’m just gonna play five songs, and I’d go back and work on it again. Finally I thought, ‘I can do this. This is gonna be, it’s gonna be something. It’s gonna be ballsy.’ (laughs) I went and told the band, ‘The best thing that can happen is you guys leave, because if you’re still here, there’s a chance I’ll go back and do the other. I need you to go home and then I’m on my own.’ And then I told ‘em what I was doing, and they thought it was cool. I think that’ll be neat. So, they all grabbed their bags and got in their cars and they left. So, at that point in time, we’re about an hour before the show and the band’s gone. The bus is empty.”
Over six albums and 15+ years in Nashville, Eric Church has never been shy about releasing defiant music that carries an important message. Offering what he describes as “the tip of the spear” for what’s to come, Church once again leads with an emphasis on truth and emotion, as “Stick That In Your Country Song” earns most-added distinction at Country radio.
Already, the Jay Joyce-produced track has earned widespread critical acclaim:
– Billboard“Eric Church is not holding back in the lyrics of his new single ‘Stick That In Your Country Song’… [Church] outlines numerous real-life issues in the song that he says should be addressed more in country music, such as diversity, poverty, violence in cities, and underpaying school teachers.”
“Eric Church demands substance in furious ‘Stick That In Your Country Song’… Church turns in a dynamic vocal performance throughout, ranging from a tense whisper in his early verses to a full-blooded scream in the second verse… offering up a criticism of feel-good material on country radio as his band churns out some pummeling rock & roll.”
– Rolling Stone
“For the past decade-plus, the country superstar Eric Church has carved out a niche for himself as a sort of outsider’s Nashville insider, a rebel who fills arenas while operating within the pop-country system… [With] a seething, explosive rocker… a slow-build stomper with drive and purpose… Church has come out with a new country song that challenges the ways that country songs tend to work.”
“[Church] addresses a number of social issues in ‘Stick That in Your Country Song,’ a rousing and foot-stomping new tune written by Jeffrey Steele and Davis Nash. If the first single is a preview of what’s to come… it sounds like he’s got a lot to get off his chest.”
– USA Today
“What makes ‘Stick That in Your Country Song’ so potent isn’t just the track, which slices and strikes, but the seething indictment of a genre that would rather sidestep inconvenient truths for field parties and sweet honeys… [Church] has thrown down a gauntlet there’s no way to ignore. On this stark, visceral song, the tension burns and holds you in place… Church doesn’t make any judgments—he doesn’t have to. [The song] demonstrates how music can foment the wrongs that go unspoken and reveal the ugly truths that have been willfully overlooked.”
“Any time The Chief releases a new single, the rest of the field might as well pack it in… Eric brings country music back to what it does best, describing the reality of its listeners. It’s gritty, snarling and a little uncomfortable. But man, is it ever powerful. The Chief tells it like it is.”
“Stick That In Your Country Song” is one of many songs Church wrote in a rural North Carolina cabin earlier this year, which he has teased throughout recent performances on ACM Presents: Our Country (“Never Break Heart”), Stagecouch (“Jenny”) and in a defiant spoken-word recording (“Through My Ray Bans”). The new music follows Church’s most recent critically acclaimed project, 2018’s Desperate Man, his sixth studio album which was named one of the year’s best by American Songwriter, Billboard, Entertainment Weekly, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Rolling Stone, Variety and Vulture, among others, also earning a GRAMMY nod for Best Country Album (his third nomination in the category).
Renowned just as much for his high-energy live performances as he is for his unapologetic records, Church will appear on the Country Music Association’s “Best of Fest” television special Monday, July 13, to relive his epic mega-medley performance during CMA Fest 2019, where he performed a 30-minute, solo acoustic set for the Nissan Stadium crowd – just weeks after setting the venue’s concert attendance record with more than 56,000 fans as part of his chart-topping Double Down Tour.
About Eric Church
The three-time Country Music Association and seven-time Academy of Country Music Award winner released his most recent critically acclaimed album, Desperate Man, atop the Billboard Country Albums chart in late 2018. The album, featuring his most recent 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.
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. The holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts. This year with the pandemic still raging across the country, the holiday may look a little different for most people, including musicians. Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them.
For liners, click here.
Lauren Alaina and Chrissy Metz will be among the performers on this year’s A Capitol Fourth this weekend. They’ll be joined by a slew of other famous faces, including hosts John Stamos and Vanessa Williams, as well as Trace Adkins, Brantley Gilbert, Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty and Yolanda Adams among others. Chrissy is set to sing “I’m Standing With You” from last year’s film, Breakthrough, as a tribute to first responders and frontline personnel. Celebrating a special 40th anniversary presentation, A Capitol Fourth will air Saturday (July 4th) at 8pm ET/7pm CT.
Lauren will also perform on the iHeart Country 4th of July BBQ on Friday (July 3rd) at 8pm ET/7pm CT on The CW.
Adam Hambrick (Fourth of July) OC: …July. :11
“Fire up the grill and blow something up. Two things that are important for a good time on the Fourth of July – one (is) fire and meat. Those two things make a Happy Fourth of July.”
AJ (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58
Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”
Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16
“My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”
Brandon Lay (Fourth of July) OC: …good times. :47
“I remember everybody hanging out at my grandmother’s and we would drive down the road to a fireworks stand off the side of Highway 45 out there in Jackson [Tennessee]. Just getting the bottle rockets and Black Cats and bringing ‘em back to the house, it felt like it was an eternity before it got dark. We just kept wanting to light ‘em and our parents would tell us it ain’t time, but just how exhilarating it was to see ‘em shoot up. We’re not talking big time fireworks here, but you would’ve thought that it was. It’s funny just how you remember things, but I just remember a screen door at my grandmother’s, running in and out, in and out, in and out and four wild little cousins running around. It was good times.”
Carrie Underwood (favorite Fourth of July memory) OC: …work out. :51
“I think my favorite Fourth of July memory would be going to the fireworks stand and picking out which fireworks I wanted to do. I must’ve been like 7 or 8, and I came home and made a list of what order I wanted to do them in, because I wanted to put a show on for Mom and Dad, and of course I couldn’t wait until it was dark outside (laughs). So, I made my Mom and Dad get the lawn chairs and come out to the backyard and watch some not very dramatic fireworks at like six o’clock in the evening, but I was so proud of myself, and I was so proud of the show that I put on. So, I feel like that was a little training for what I do now – putting on shows, figuring out how it’s all going to work out.”
Darius Rucker (4th of July) 1 OC: …in the world. :24
“The Fourth of July to me is a day to celebrate freedom. We get to travel all over the world and see a lot of stuff, and I’ve been to a lot of countries that aren’t like ours and that’s when you really appreciate the fact that you can do whatever you want. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences, you can do whatever you want, you know? [I] appreciate those soldiers who died for us to be sitting here doing this, and we live in the greatest country in the world.”
Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15
“Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”
Dierks Bentley (4th of July-patriotic) OC: …all the time. :17
“I’m extremely patriotic. I love this country, and I love the history of this country. I read books on this country. I spend my time on the road traveling physically throughout the country. The soldiers and their families are constantly on my mind. We work closely with the Wounded Warriors Project. We think about this stuff all the time.”
Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17
“The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time. This was before, I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing…we would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults.”
Jon Langston (Fourth of July) OC: …either way. :17
“The Fourth of July is usually different every year. We’re usually playing shows, or we’re out on the lake or at the beach, or sometimes I’ve said, ‘I’m staying at home,’ shooting fireworks off the back porch or something. That’s probably not the safest thing, but we have a good time either way.”
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17
“Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”
Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20
“Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]
Keith Urban (coming to America 1st time) OC: …as I could. :39
“1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here. It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here – it was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville, and I shopping my little demo around. I think I humored everybody more than anything else [laughs] with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time. So, I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”
Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21
“Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”
Maddie & Tae (Fourth of July) OC: …it’s perfect. :29
TAE: “One of my favorite Fourth of July traditions – I’d say it’s a tradition ‘cause it happens every year, but I’m not always able to make it – is that we go to my grandparents in Oklahoma, and we all line up lawn chairs right in front of their garage and we just light fireworks. We always do it far away and then we light it, and we always run back and watch the fireworks, but that’s probably one of my favorite memories.” MADDIE: “My birthday is July 7th, so I always get built-in fireworks for my birthday, and sometimes we actually celebrate it on the 4th, because there’s fireworks everywhere, so it’s perfect.”
Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39
“My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff, and coming back with a big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”
Travis Denning (Fourth of July) OC: …will love. :51
“Fourth of July in Warner Robins, Georgia is an event. It’s something else. In fact, forever they’ve thrown an Independence Day concert, and back in the day, it was huge. It was the biggest thing they did all year. They would actually have the concert in the MAC (McConnell-Talbert Stadium), which was the high school football stadium that Warner Robins and Northside and Houston County shared. I mean, one year they had Wynonna play and then they had Josh Turner one year, Darius Rucker. I mean it was like a big deal, and there’d be 15,000, 20,000 people there, and I think it’s so cool that there’s a little bit of a legacy of people coming together in that town and making something happen, you know? I’ll never forget going to those shows and thinking, I was more proud of what the city had done. I was like, ‘That’s just so cool that they could put together a show like this, an event that everybody will love.”