Eric Church, 'The Outsiders' lets music do the talking
Stephen L. Betts
Christopher Polk/Getty Images Photo: Video by YouTube
Eric Church releases the highly anticipated album, "The Outsiders" today (Feb. 11), and the singer-songwriter is enjoying the reaction he's receiving to the music that's tougher to categorize but that appeals to a wide range of fans, which means he can play (and win) at the the CMA Awards and also rock out at Lollapalooza.
"I love situations like that," Eric tells the Chicago Tribune. "It shows where we're at in this day and time from a genre standpoint. Genres are either gone, or at best the lines are very blurred. You can throw so much into a rock festival from all different formats. Playing a festival like that, you really get the chance to let the music do the talking."
The music on "The Outsiders" has a lot to say as well, such as "A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young," which the Tribune calls "a stripped-down ballad with a vulnerable vocal reminiscent of the late country legend Keith Whitley."
"That song [is about] looking at your own life," Eric explains. "I'm 36. I'm not 25 and don't care to be. I'm not going to dye my hair and pretend to be younger than I am. I've earned whatever gray hair and wrinkles I have. That's what I wanted this album to be."
Family life even works its way into the tracks on the album, but it's handled, naturally, in a less traditional way than many country artists with a wife (Katherine) and 2-year-old son (Boone) would approach the subject.
"I didn't want to write a lullaby," Eric says of "Dark Side." "That isn't me. I wanted the song to be very real. As a parent for the first time, I need to be a certain way. I try to suppress the way I used to be. The protective nature of that last verse is that you can still wake that guy up if anybody ever messes with my wife or kid. The threat there is something any mother or father can feel."
The singer takes his family with him when he travels, which he says can be a challenge with a young son, but he'd determined not to be separated from them for long periods. He has just announced a whirlwind two-day tour that will see him playing six free shows from Chicago to Atlanta. Watch the video below for details. See a list of Eric's upcoming shows here.