“Guys Like Me” has a guy that drinks too many beers. That was before anybody had ever put beer and trucks related in songs.” That’s Eric Church in Rolling Stone, apparently he has never heard “What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made A Loser Out Of Me)”.
You know how there are people in the world who you don’t know at all but just want to punch right in the nose the moment you see them? Well, I’ve always felt that way about Eric Church, a man who thinks a hangover makes him George Jones. He has a constant self-important attitude, as though he’s an heir to Merle Haggard simply by turning up. The 38 year old Church moved from North Carolina to Nashville with his Papa’s blessing, money and connects in 1995. Ten years later he had a contract with Capitol Records. To quote his long term producer Jay Joyce in Spin last year: “His stance — he’s about shaking it up, doing something different, and that’s pretty rare when you find new country artists.” Yes, repeat, no.
Church is Bro reduced to Black Jack and coke, he is Blake Shelton’s badass little brother, in a leather jacket and a Harley, an overstated drinking habit, and some great songs. Try Chief, despite its feigned ode to Bruce Springsteen, which would be much more painful if Bruce himself wasn’t a feigned ode to Springsteen, “Jack Daniels” honors the song name and if it is the best it isn’t the only, and pass on the big bang boom disaster The Outsider from last year.
Actually, try Mr. Misunderstood, Eric’s surprise release, it dropped yesterday on Apple Music: it’s a strong collection of mostly mid-tempo country rockers with his seasoned back up band right off the road and long term producer Jay in charge, Eric’s songwriting skills are actually pretty outstanding here. The 39 minutes are subtly charged, the songs are better than his last one but not just that, they let themselves make the case. Eric stops rubbing our noses in em.Only “Chattanooga Lucy” the same old boogie, and “Three Year Old, nauseating lachrymose advice from his son (a stain and a sop respectively) are cold cockable.
Otherwise, this is a mid-career solid set, it isn’t a major career move the way The Outsider was, it isn’t an attempt to capture the mainstream, but a well played collection of fine songs. “Mr. Misunderstood” is as good as Eric can write and a four song stretch heading towards the finish is as much a sustained vision as you might ever hope to hear from him.The church-y organ on two songs work very well, they add shading and backbone, it is why “Mistress Named Music” isn’t the sort of disaster we too often get from the man, “Mixed Drinks About Feelings” is a soulful duet with a fine sounding back up singer and an implied Gospel pull. and on track after track, whether love songs or self portraits, life at work, and life at home, working class dreams and mixed drinks, he resists adding thump to songs that don’t need em. They are roomy, they breathe.
Hey, maybe Eric is in fact the first person to put beer and trucks into country songs…
too on the nose
into rock god land
The venue is deeply symbolic
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The Monkees Micky Dolenz & Mike Nesmith’s Farewell Tour At The Town Hall, Sunday, October 24th, 2021, Reviewed
Micky carried Mike for two hours, paid tribute to the Country Americana pop song writers skills, and made certain Nez looked swell
a lame 94K EAUs
“Hard” begs for a live show
he had something to prove and didn’t
“Elton in the house!”
Moses Sumney plays two shows at the Ford