News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Music

January 26, 2012

Expectations ramp up for Church on way to top

Artist insists he hasn’t forgotten where he started, even after single hits No. 1

In Terre Haute

• What: Eric Church’s Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour

• When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday

• Where: Terre Haute’s Hulman Center

It was opening night for the 2012 portion of Eric Church’s Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour.

His bus pulled into the Fort Smith Convention Center in Arkansas, where more buses, trucks, stages and equipment buzzed with activity.

“I damn near had a panic attack,” the singer-songwriter said by telephone Tuesday from Nashville, Tenn. “I was like, ‘Who the hell’s paying for all this?’”

Expectations, crowd sizes and sales have all ramped up for Church since the release of his 2011 album “Chief” and its hit single “Drink In My Hand,” which climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard Country charts. Still, the 34-year-old North Carolina native insists he hasn’t forgotten the path he took to this point. Church started playing clubs at age 17, graduated from Appalachian State University with a marketing degree, passed on a corporate career and eventually signed a songwriting contract in Music City. In 2006, he began touring and performing as a recording artist.

“We’ve scraped a long time, and I think that’s part of the reason it’s so satisfying,” he said.

The lean days remain fresh in his mind. “I understand what that means and where we came from. We’ve played every sewer in America,” Church said.

Today, with sellout crowds awaiting, his BS&B Tour has taken him and the band from Arkansas, to Missouri and Mississippi, and then to Michigan before hitting Terre Haute’s Hulman Center for Saturday night’s 7:30 show, opened by Jon Pardi and Brantley Gilbert.

Church and company will perform several songs from his latest album. On the disc, he and producer Jay Joyce pursued some off-the-beaten-Nashville-path sounds and story lines. That includes the first song Church has ever recorded that he didn’t help write — “Like Jesus Does.” The song toasts a girl, a believer, who sticks by him and forgives him, “even when I can’t.”

Boundaries and formats went out the window on the album. “I guess it’s more fearless, lyrically and musically,” Church said. On “Like Jesus Does,” Church rehearsed the song alone a couple times after hearing a demo sent to him by a songwriting friend, stepped up to a microphone along with a drummer and bassist, and recorded what became the keeper version. “That’s something that just doesn’t happen in Nashville,” he said.

“It’s a sparse sounding song,” Church added.

The free-form sound appeals to him, and may set a path for his musical offerings in the future.

“On this record, I did not worry one time what the label was going to think, what the radio would think, or what the fans would think,” he said.

Mark Bennett can be reached at (812) 231-4377 or mark.bennett@tribstar.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Music
Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: Violent Clashes Between Libyan Militias Today in History for July 28th Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity