This week’s post features the OG Outsider, Mr. Misunderstood, Eric Church. (That was the first time I’ve ever used “OG,” I’m a really cool 27 year old, I know)
Eric freaking Church. Since this is my blog and I do what I want, I’m naming him Entertainer of the Year for 2017 because, let’s be real, he SHOULD have won that damn CMA Award.
Mr. Church puts out the best albums. Literally the best. And the singles get radio play, but I still think he is one of the most underrated artists, songwriters, and entertainers in this town. I’m literally just going to work backwards, periodically throwing one his albums in the mix of posts. So this post will focus on his latest album, Mr. Misunderstood.
Before we dive into the album let’s talk about the release. He is seriously the biggest badass and here is why, he recorded, produced, and released this album with it being a complete secret. There was no promotion. That’s a really big deal. First of all, only Eric Church could convince a small group of people to keep this a secret, because that’s not the way its done. Second of all, only Eric Church would do it without his label dropping him or being seriously angry that there was no radio promotion. Basically only Eric Church can do whatever he wants.
So the album was sent exclusively to his fan club, his Church Choir. The album was not publicly discussed and anything that was leaked on the internet was taken down immediately by his team. The next day he premiered Mr. Misunderstood at the CMA Awards, with the announcement that the album will be available everywhere the following day. The reason: he wanted his fans to hear the music first instead of radio and promoters having all of the power. Legitimately the OG of rebellion.
One more thing...he should have CMA Entertainer of the Year 2017 simply because of his record setting tour, Holdin My Own. He played 62 shows in 5 months with NO OPENERS. He also proved once again that he doesn’t take any shit because he cancelled tickets that were sold to scalpers so his true fans had a chance to see him without having to pay 4x the face value. Scalpers are a huge issue in Nashville and I think standing up to that is such a respectable move. I went the very last night of this tour, which set records at Bridgestone Arena. Since he didn’t have any openers, the show was split into two parts with an intermission and the concert was 4+ hours long. Y’all I have been to a ton of shows, but this show was hands down the BEST I've been to. With all the pun intended, he took me to church.
It’s probably time to discuss the actual music…
This album does an amazing job of marrying the Southern Rock & Country sound to meaningful and important lyrics. Eric Church, Jeff Hyde, Casey Beathard, Ryan Tyndell, Travis Meadows, Luke Dick, and Monty Criswell nailed the writing. Truly amazing, impactful lyrics. Jay Joyce always nails production, this album was no exception.
Every. Single. Track. Sticks out to me.
Mr. Misunderstood- a summary of why I love Eric. He sticks up for the outcasts. He gets them because he is one. Thank God.
Mistress Named Music- EVERYONE who is chasing their dream in the music industry can relate to this. The first time I heard it, I cried.
Chattanooga Lucy- dancing in my car.
Mixed Drinks about Feelings- sad and beautiful lyrics, featuring Susan Tedeschi.
Knives of New Orleans- amazing and powerful. Travis Meadows is a co-writer. If you don’t know his story, look it up.
Round Here Buzz- good ole Country Music content
Kill a Word- WHY DID THIS NOT HIT #1? This powerful track is so, so needed in our world. Huge thanks to Rhiannon Giddens and Eric for bringing the important message written by Church, Dick, Hyde to life.
Holdin’ My Own- focus on the important things. Also used as his tour title because he had no openers. YES.
Record Year- the only track from this album to get adequate radio play. Such an AMAZING story. Love the play on words, true artistry.
Three Year Old- Perfect way to end this album.
Thanks for inspiring all of us who are “married to a dream, with a mistress named music,” Mr. Church. You are truly one of the best this town has.
PS... click the link below for an article that came out exactly a year ago about the Holdin’ My Own tour. Thanks to Facebook Memories, I came accross it today. All kinds of goodies in this post, y’all are spoiled.