EC News (Old&New)

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Blast from the Past (Old EC News)

Here are a few of the older news stories and interesting updates on Eric from the EC News archive!

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Eric Church Wins Bass Tourney!

Marty Smith and Eric Church
Catch of the Day!

They started late and their bass boat was bogged down by beer and Jack Daniel's, but somehow country artist Eric Church, ESPN NASCAR reporter Marty Smith and champion shotgun marksman Bill McGuire sped away with the grand prize at the second annual Porter Wagoner Memorial Artists & Anglers Fishing Tournament on Tuesday.

Part of the festivities leading up to the CMA Music Festival, the tournament paired veteran anglers with artists from the country music world on Percy Priest Lake to honor The Thin Man From West Plains who was quite the bass-chaser in his day.

"Porter was an avid, avid fisherman, and he would've liked this," said Roland Martin, the dean of American bass fishing whose name is on just about any piece of fishing gear you could conceive. Martin, who fished with Becky and Emily Robertson of Carter's Chord, finished in eighth place.

At the weigh-in outside the Bass Pro Shops at Opry Mills, pickup after pickup pulled up to a stage where the fish were yanked from holding tanks on the bass boats, then flopped onto a scale.

"I brought the beer. Everything else was easy after that," Eric said, after signing autographs and posing for pictures with fans. His team's grand total was 18.43 pounds of bass. "I mainly enjoyed the day off and watched Bill and Marty," he said. "They caught four of those five fish in the first hour or two, and we just put it on cruise control."

Jeff Cook of Alabama and pro angler Emily Shaffer came in second; Canadian country newcomer Dean Brody and fishing pro Dianna Clark came in third. As for the fish, they got to go back into the lake, to be caught by less famous folks another day.


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Eric Church: My Carolina

Eric Church takes CW home with him to learn about the places, people and memories that have made him the artist—and the person—he is today.


“There’s a cabin in a valley my grandpa built on your land
Your mountains are a canvass for the Maker’s hand” —Opening lines from “Carolina”

“I actually started that song one night [after] we had played Charlotte,” recalls North Carolina native Eric Church of the late-night bus ride when he began writing “Carolina,” the title cut of his excellent sophomore CD.

“And we didn’t have time to go home. We had to leave Charlotte and play something near Nashville [the next day]. I hadn’t been home in a long time, and we passed the exit on this bus that would take me home . . . and we couldn’t take it. We had to go on back to Nashville.

“It’s a real . . . melancholy, tough feeling. It’s homesickness; it’s a lot of things. Your life has kind of got in the way of bein’ able to do some things you want to do. I grabbed the guitar and immediately in my mind went to where I call home. A lot of people think that’s Granite, and I love Granite Falls, I’m from there . . . very proud to be from there. My family’s there [parents Ken and Rita and younger siblings Brandon and Kendra]. But home for me is 100 acres that was my grandpa’s land. It still is home.”

Fast forward to a recent crisp early spring day and Eric is driving his wife, Katherine, and some friends down a narrow, winding country road past 200-year-old white churches to those gorgeous 100 acres in the valley he longed so desperately to see that night on the bus. As he stops, unlocks the gate and drives down the dirt road skirting a meadow in the valley, some deer cross the field. On a tiny piece of land on the side of a hill are several very old head stones, one for a girl who lived just 11 years, 2 months and 5 days and died in 1847.

And by the time Eric has pulled across the bridge over the Elk Creek where he, his younger brother Brandon and their grandfather, Ralph “Rusty” Barlow, used to fish, it’s easy to take a look around and know at least part of why Eric loves this place so much. Of course, the biggest reason was his grandfather, who was police chief in Granite Falls from 1954 through 1981.

“He died in ’95,” declares Eric quietly, as he visits for the first time in years the cabin his grandfather built with his own hands. “We used to come up about every weekend and we’d stay here. We’d come up Friday night and fish Saturday and normally leave Sunday to go back. “My grandfather went up high at the top [of the mountain next to the cabin] and just tapped into a spring and ran a line to the sink in the cabin and drank right from the mountain, for years and years and years. No treatment of any kind.

“There’s a cave up on the side of this mountain where he kept his vegetables. It stays about 50 degrees year round. So he would store stuff.”

While it’s good seeing this property again, it’s bittersweet for Eric. But a memory of what he considers the best meal he’s ever had brings a smile to his face.

“One day we caught two small mouths,” he recalls with a smile. “We walked up and, on the way, we picked a couple potatoes out of the ground, we grabbed a couple fresh ears of corn. When we got up to the house, we fried the fish and he made a pan of biscuits. And we had the corn and the potatoes, and that was it. He baked one potato and he cut one up and fried it. And you’re sittin’ there eatin’, and everything came from a walk from the creek to the house. That was just so cool. And it was with him.”

It’s easy to see why Eric loves this place. And why the song “Carolina” is the thematic umbrella for the entire album, which all springs in one way or another from Eric’s time in his home state. The title cut of his first record, Sinners Like Me, also drew heavily from his Carolina roots. That CD drew critical acclaim and produced the hits “How ‘Bout You,” “Two Pink Lines” and “Guys Like Me.” And the video for the CD’s “Lighting” was one of the most powerful in years. So the new album has a lot to live up to. And it does.

There’s the record’s first and current single, “Love Your Love the Most,” which extols Eric’s love of Faulkner books, his mama’s cookin’ and even mustard on his fries [he swears he prefers ‘em that way]. And there’s the rockin’ “Young and Wild,” after which Eric’s new tour is named. And, yes, there may have been a yard or two rolled with toilet paper in Eric’s younger days and there might have been a speeding ticket just 10 days after getting his license.

So, any other wild behavior we should know about? “I probably won’t reveal it tonight!” laughs Eric of some possible well-hidden youthful pranks. “If I’ve made it this far, I’m not gonna divulge it now!” Whatever secrets Eric may be keeping, it’s likely they’re harmless. After all, this was a kid who was president of his freshman class, sophomore class and junior class—and student body president his senior year. And there are tunes like “Lotta Boot Left to Fill,” an homage to authenticity in country music and the hard work and respect for tradition that produces it. That’s something that’s not foreign to Eric.

“My dad’s a very goal-oriented guy,” he explains. “He came from a very modest family. He started out in a furniture plant, put himself through school. Worked his way up and crossed over into the management side. Ended up bein’ president of a furniture company and doin’ really well.

“But he did all of this with nothin’—the absolute rags to riches guy. He came from nothin’ all the way up. And he always has handled himself with integrity, too, which I think is really important.”

Before he started performing for a living, no job was beneath Eric. In high school, he worked at a golf driving range picking up balls that were sometimes under four feet of water, due to the range’s poor drainage. “It was horrible,” he recalls. “We wore waders out into the slimy muck and mosquitoes and smell.

“In college [at Appalachian State in Boone, NC], I worked in the cafeteria. Then I cleaned bathrooms. Then I went from cleaning bathrooms to adjusting skis. And my career doin’ that ended when one night I ended up hurtin’ some guy (he laughs) who was comin’ down the mountain. I had done it wrong and his ski didn’t release. It ended up twistin’ his leg and they traced it back to me. Hope he’s doin’ well now. So that was the end of Appalachian Ski Mountain. After that I started playing shows.“

While several songs early in the sequence on Carolina are definitely punchy, in-your-face rockers—“Lotta Boot” being one of them—Eric convincingly proves he’s no one-trick pony later with several songs that are more vulnerable and honest than anything else he’s ever done.

“Where She Told Me to Go” paints a vivid picture of a guy in a cheap motel with a cooling unit that’s set on “very cold,” “muddy water comin’ out of the sink” and “dirty sheets on the bed.” All the result of his needing “a little space” from the woman he loved.

And “You Make it Look So Easy” has a special significance for Eric, who sang it for Katherine when they got married at a resort in Blowing Rock, N.C., in January 2008. "I struggled with puttin’ that on the record, absolutely struggled,” admits Eric. “I thought ‘this is such a personal, just her and I moment . . . and so vulnerable.’ She said, ‘Put it on the record.’

“She still jokes that she swore she’d never be with a writer or an artist when she came to town,” chuckles Eric of his pretty bride. “She worked in the music industry . . . and she got both of ‘em!”

As he drives his buddies around town, Eric stops off to visit some places with especially fond memories, like the high school gym. As he walks in, he jokes, “They took my jersey down today before we got here.” Then he proceeds to put on an awe-inspiring shooting display. One shot after another . . . swish, swish, swish, swish. His jersey may not have been retired to hang in the rafters, but it seems like it sure could’ve been. The guy can play.

The next morning, Eric hesitates before entering Bob’s Barber Shop in downtown Granite Falls. Apparently Eric’s current hair style differs somewhat from what Bob gave him when Eric was a kid and Eric’s braced for a comment or two. “You guys all tellin’ lies in here?” inquires a smiling Eric of the 6-8 men sitting along the walls telling jokes and stories as Bob gives a customer a trim in the chair.

“No! Not in this barber shop!” a couple of them reply. “We don’t allow no cussin’ and no lying!”

“And smoking . . . I see you’ve cut that out, too!” jokes Eric, trying to make everyone out through the wall of smoke in the shop. As Eric leaves, Bob calls out, “You ever need a good hair cut, come on by. We’ll fix you up!”

“I learned to cuss in that place,” Eric reveals outside. “But I’m sure they told me the toned-down versions of their jokes.”

As Eric makes some stops around town, it’s apparent he is absolutely loved by everybody we meet. His second grade teacher, Mrs. Abernathy, even sees his bus going by the post office, gets in her car and follows the bus until she sees Eric strolling through his old neighborhood. She tries to recall the favorite song he used to sing in the second grade and leaves frustrated that she can’t remember it. Then, not 3 minutes later, she drives up again and says, “’Elvira’! It was ‘Elvira’.” That was obviously a memorable performance for her, but Eric recalls a performance of one of his new tunes, the powerfully moving “Those I’ve Loved,” that is among the most emotional of his career. The song touchingly recalls people who’ve come in and out of Eric’s life through the years and is one of Eric’s two or three favorites on the new album.

“One of the coolest performances to date was the first time I played it on the Opry,” he declares. “The people I think about on that song, one in particular, is my grandmother. She was a great singer, and her dream was to play on the Grand Ole Opry. When I got a chance to play, she was alive. She wasn’t in good health, but she made it to the Opry. And that’s the last time I saw her. I saw her in the lobby of the Grand Ole Opry. And she died about two weeks later.

“And the first time I played that song at the Opry, which I hadn’t written [when my grandmother was there] was a tough one. It was emotional. I even had some break up moments. But the emotion of the song translated to the crowd. They gave a standing ovation. Just me and the acoustic. It’s still something that when I play in that setting, that’s a special moment.”

As Eric contemplates how far he’s come from his early days in this town of under 5,000 people, he can’t go long without thinking back to earlier, when he took his friends to his grandpa’s cabin.

“It’s something that’s here (touches his heart) more than anyplace else,” Eric says quietly. “It’s good. I’m glad we’re doin’ it. But at the same time, I’m sharin’ a little piece of something that I don’t know that I anticipated sharing.

“There’s a lot of ghosts there. I can’t tell you the number of times today, I could see my grandfather either standin’ on the bank, or on the porch of the house, by the barn. All these different places. It was a little haunting in a way, but I think it’s okay. I think that’s what makes it what it is.”

Mama’S Cookin’

Eric sings a line in “Love Your Love the Most” about how he loves anything his mamma cooks. But what’s his favorite meal his mama, Rita, cooks?

“She makes one of the best chicken pies in existence,” proclaims Eric. “And she also does . . . well, it’s a dessert, but she does banana puddin’ that’s not even of this world. It’s ungodly. And even other people will say the same thing.

“Her secret is . . . I can’t believe I’m tellin’ you this . . . but her secret is she puts sour cream in with the Cool Whip. And it just gives it a little hint of tang that most banana puddin’s don’t have. It is fantastic.”

For more from Eric, check out the April 20 issue of Country Weekly.

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2009 NC Gov. Inaugural Ball
The Newly elected North Carolina Governor, Bev Perdue invited the ECB to perform "Carolina" at her 2009 Inaugural Ball in NC on 1/9/2009.

The Eric Church Band
Bev Perdue Inaugural Ball Raleigh, NC

The ECB on the Big Screen
"Oh Carolina...calling me home..."

The ECB in NC
Performing live at the Presentation

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ECB Tour 2009
(For dates see tour page)

Eric set to kick off the Young and Wild Tour!

Eric and the ECB are taking a well deserved break - and they definitely need it!  The Young and Wild Tour runs March 12th – May 16th and makes 37 stops as they crisscross the eastern half of the United States.

Take advantage of a special pre-sale at www.ericchurch.com beginning this Friday at 10 am.  Buy a ticket in the presale and automatically get a FREE tour poster autographed by Eric!

As if that’s not enough to get you all excited for the tour, by buying a pre-sale ticket, you will be entered to win a meet and greet with Eric!   Each night a few lucky fans will be picked to attend the meet and greet.

Given the economic times, we’ve done our best to keep ticket prices low.  We have even worked out a very low convenience fee. We have kept YOU, the fans, in mind the whole time.
The presales end January 23rd at 10 am so get your tickets NOW!

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NASHVILLE, TN – December 18, 2008 – Capitol Record Nashville recording artist (and proud North Carolina native) Eric Church was chosen as one of the featured performers at the North Carolina Inaugural Ball for Governor-elect Beverly Perdue, to be held at the state’s capitol, Raleigh, on January 9th.  Church will perform “Carolina,” the title track from his upcoming March 24 album.

The 2009 Governor’s Inaugural Ball features a full weekend of events honoring North Carolina’s newly elected governor and council of state. The crown jewel of the celebration will be on Friday, January 9, the Gala Presentation and Inaugural Ball - where Church is one of the featured performers - in the elegant new Raleigh Convention Center.

“This is a very personal song for me, so when I heard that someone in the Governor-elect’s organization heard the song ‘Carolina’ and decided that it needed to be part of the celebration – well, it means a lot. Apparently this song hit them the same way it’s hitting my fans; I’m grateful that it’s making an impact.  I’m also hoping it means that I can drive a little faster through the state,” Church joked with a laugh.

The performer’s encounter with a prior NC governor was rather, well, alarming: “When I was in high school, I was part of a program where I was a page for then Gov. Hunt for a week – I ran errands, delivered mail, basically just did whatever they needed you to do. On the last day, all the student pages get their photo taken with the Governor in his office, so they rounded us up, stuck us in the room and left us there – unsupervised. Which was not a good idea. I decided it would be funny to sit in the Governor’s chair and put my feet up on his desk – which I did. What I didn’t know was that had I tripped a silent alarm – suddenly, the office was swarming with security. When they finally realized it was just some dumb 16-year old acting stupid, things quieted down. But when Governor Hunt finally entered the room for our photo, the first thing he asked was, ‘Okay – which kid was sitting in my chair?!?’ ” laughed Church. “I’m sure my interactions with the new governor will be less . . . troublesome.”

The Junior League of Raleigh hosts the North Carolina Governor’s Inaugural Ball, which they have done since 1933. Proceeds from the 2009 Inaugural Ball will be used to fund JLR’s community grants and the League’s Center for Community Leadership; the new Center will offer a wide variety of training programs, shared meeting space and networking opportunities to non-profit organizations throughout the state.

While the track “Love Your Love The Most” will be released as a single from the album CAROLINA in January, the song “Carolina” – made available with little fanfare on iTunes as an advanced taste of Church’s sophomore project – has quietly racked up impressive sales figures, thanks to legions of Eric Church fans that are eager to hear new music from the highly anticipated project.

The song’s subject – a performer longing to return to his home – has struck a nerve with listeners: “When I write a song, North Carolina is where I go for inspiration – the people, the memories and experiences, and just the place itself.  Now, after hearing the fan reaction to this song, you realize it’s about everyone’s home, wherever they are from . . . everyone has that ‘place’ that they can go back to and draw from their own feelings and experiences, too. I mean, I wrote ‘Carolina’ myself – it’s very personal. It’s my life. Yet everyone seems to relate to it. That’s what makes a song so special:  words can trigger the same feelings in the listener that it did in the songwriter.”

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Eric Decorates Doll for Charity 

Original Wooden "Paper Doll"

Created, Decorated and Autographed by 

Eric Church

Eric Church, a North Carolina native, began writing songs at the age of 13.  After college and a year in Nashville, Church secured a publishing deal with Sony Tree that led to Terri Clark recording his song, “The World Needs A Drink.”  In 2006, Church released his first single, “How ‘Bout You,” and his debut album, Sinners Like Me.  He is now preparing to launch his second album in early 2009

Eric Church’s doll reflects the title of his debut album, Sinners Like Me.  His doll, made to look like the biblical characters Adam and Eve, is visually captivating.  The dolls, with hair, faces, and strategically-placed leaves, are mounted to a landscape.  Grass and an apple tree with the serpent surround Adam and Eve, and Adam is holding an apple.  The back of the doll features the album title in bold letters and Church’s signature.

Eric Church’s doll measures approximately 12" x 8" x 1.5", comes attached to a 12" x 12" board with an approximately 18" tree, and comes with a certificate of authentication confirming its origin and his autograph as original.

All proceeds go to the Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee.


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2008 CMA Awards




Capitol Recording Artists Lady Antebellum, Keith Urban, Darrius Rucker, Eric Church, and Luke Bryan at the 2008 CMA awards.

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Congrats App State on Beating Michigan!!!
Nice Outfit!

Eric Church gets ready for Michigan gig with special T-shirt

Tuesday, September 4, 2007; Nothing personal Eric Church fans going to the concert this Friday in Flint, Mich., but don't be surprised if the singer wears the T-shirt of his alma mater.

And that may be bring a frown to the face of those attending the show because Church will be sporting a shirt from his alma mater, Appalachian State, owner of one of the hugest upsets in college football history when the Boone, N.C. school upset then number five ranked Michigan 34-32.

"We had a day off in Oklahoma City, and we had to park the bus in an Applebee's parking lot beside the hotel," Church said. "I had to wake the bus driver up to move the bus for better satellite reception, and I was surprised to see that Appalachian was in the game. This was around halftime...then I got to see what I think was not only the greatest upset in college football history, but the greatest game in college football history."

"I would like to apologize to the patrons of the Oklahoma City Applebee's because when the Mountaineers blocked that kick, I blacked out, ran off the bus, and ran around the restaurant parking lot yelling at the top of my lungs," said Church to the final play of the game where Appalachian State blocked a game-winning field goal.

"I would also like to apologize in advance for the Appalachian State t-shirt I'll be wearing onstage Friday night at my gig in Flint, Mich. It's not personal - please don't throw things at us."

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Eric Church Gets Married!

Country music newcomer Eric Church married music publisher Katherine Blasingame on Tuesday, Jan. 8 in a private ceremony attended by immediate family in the Blue Ridge Mountains of the artist’s home state of North Carolina.

The wedding took place at the internationally acclaimed Westglow Spa & Resort in Blowing Rock, NC.

“Katherine and I stayed there last year, and we just fell in love with the place,” says Eric. “We decided that it would be the ideal spot to get married, up in the North Carolina Mountains, with just family around us. I can’t imagine a more perfect spot.”

The bride’s gown was designed by Melissa Sweet, and the groom wore a black Dolce & Gabbana suit. The newly married couple now sport one-of-a-kind rings designed by famed jewelry designer Margaret Ellis (Sex and the City, The Devil Wears Prada).

Eric surprised Katherine with a new song, written especially for her, that he performed during the ceremony for the bride and assembled guests. “My brother snuck my guitar in for me, so I think I surprised her!” says the Capitol Records artist.

The entire wedding party stayed at Westglow for most of the week, taking full advantage of the relaxing spa treatments and activities available at the resort. 

Eric is now back in the studio recording music for the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut album Sinners Like Me. Fans should expect the first single from the album to hit radio in March, with the album to follow this summer.

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Show # 5 (Coyote Joe's NC)

The ECB's Top Ten Shows of 2007:

1. Denver, CO Red Rocks
2. Grand Rapids, MI The Intersection
3. Council Bluffs, IA The Whiskey Roadhouse
4. Memphis, TN Country On Beale
5. Charlotte, NC Coyote Joes
6. Boston, MA Paradise Rock Club
7. Granite Falls, NC South Caldwell High School
8. Chicago, IL Joes Bar
9. Atlanta, GA Wild Bills
10. Seattle, WA Neumos

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Support Our Troops.
Church Choir Members have loved ones fighting for you.

Support Our Troops
Please remember our military and all the friends and family of fellow Church Choir members who have loved ones overseas fighting for our freedom. 
Many Choir members recently donated to or made their own care-packages and sent them to troops serving in Iraq.
Pictured left is Choir Member, Miranda's husband, Anthony holding a pic of Eric and wearing a glow necklace. These are some of the goodies he received in a care-package from Choir Members.

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Eric Photo From Nashville Bar Guide...

Need a Drink???
Want to know what Nashville Bars are the Best?!
Eric was featured on the cover of the 2007 Nashville Scene Bar Guide during this year's CMA festival! Just click the picture to read the entire article. If you were not able to get your hands on one of these cool collectibles try Ebay. Congrats Big 'E'!
To check out his photo shoot for the cover click the U-Tube video link below:

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Eric and The "Church" Choir
May 20th, 2007 (SCHS Homecoming Show)

Eric Fans:
Eric's Church Choir donated $735.00 dollars to SCHS in Eric's name. Kim(Knc) delivered a box of goodies to Eric at the hometown show and actually got to go up on stage and deliver a GIANT check to EC himself! Eric was speechless...he really acted surprised and thanksful to have fans like us! He handed Kim a brand new guitar and autographed it to his Church Choir! WOW how awesome!....pictures will be available soon on the gallery page.Thanks to all who donated to the cause.

Kim Delivers the "Church Choir" Check to Eric!
May 20th, 2007 SCHS Show ($735.00)

"I come from a long line of Sinners like me"-EC