Artist: ERIC CHURCH
Album: Chief (third studio album)
Release Date: Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Label: EMI Records Nashville
Producer: Jay Joyce
01. Creepin’ 3:52
02. Drink In My Hand 3:11
03. Keep On 2:39
04. Like Jesus Does 3:17
05. Hungover and Hard Up 2:53
06. Homeboy 3:47
07. Country Music Jesus 3:52
08. Jack Daniels 5:03
09. Springsteen 4:03
10. I’m Getting Stoned 4:02
11. Over When It’s Over 2:38
“Creepin’” (Eric Church / Marv Green)
My favorite part of “Creepin’” is the way the track itself kind of creeps in. It’s interesting how sonically it matches the lyrics, then, it gets full-blown and tries to creep out. I love the Roger Miller ‘bow-ba-bow’ vocal—that wasn’t planned, it was just a product of being in the room and being involved in the magic.
“Drink In My Hand” (Eric Church, Michael Heeney, Luke Laird)
“Drink In My Hand” is the song I’m most looking forward to playing live. Halfway through writing that, I could immediately see the fans all putting their beers in the air and going crazy. The drum breakdown at the end is so wrong it turns out to be appealing because it just drops the clutch and breaks the structure. I love that it doesn’t have to be so rigid.
“Keep On” (Eric Church / Ryan Tyndell)
This track is the definition of wildness. The storyline of “Keep On” is a very country story. It’s a very brash and cocksure type of song and that’s who I am on stage. I go out there with a chip on my shoulder and that comes out. Sonically, it’s a loose cannon – just out of control.
“Like Jesus Does” (Casey Beathard / Monty Criswell)
“Like Jesus Does” is the only song on the album I didn’t write. I was in the studio cutting something else and a buddy of mine brought it in. We weren’t slated to cut it, but, we ran it down and I thought, here’s the spirit and the feel, let’s just record it. We kept the second or third take. I love the story line. I’m a very imperfect person—my favorite line is ‘She forgives me when I can’t.’ Miranda Lambert sings background vocals on this track and really completes the emotion I wanted this song to convey.
“Hungover and Hard Up” (Eric Church / Luke Laird)
I started writing “Hungover and Hard Up” on the tour bus but, the way I wrote it is nothing like how it got recorded. It has some unique lyrics, some words and phrases that are really not familiar in songs or in speech. I couldn’t find it musically—I wanted it to be this retro ‘70s thing where you could hear the vinyl scratching—but then Jay opened it up with the bass and it sounds like it was born in 1978. This is just a good feeling song.
“Homeboy” (Eric Church / Casey Beathard)
A friend of mine was coaching football and one of his kids said “Come on, homeboy,” and he said to me, “what if we tried to do something with that?” We sat down and both of us knew people who had been on the wrong path – really, all of us end up at some point in our lives where if we stayed on that path, we’d be in trouble. It’s not only a journey lyrically, but musically, too. Even the solo is its own part of the song. There are chords in the solo that aren’t anywhere else. It’s almost like a novel where one chapter leads you into the next.
“Country Music Jesus” (Eric Church / Jeremy Spillman)
“Country Music Jesus” is more tongue-in-cheek than it seems. I got really tired of a lot of the older reporters always looking for that next Johnny Cash or Waylon—I heard one of them use the actual line about «saving the format’s soul.» So, this one is a little bit of a dig at the people who say you have to have a steel guitar and a banjo. Why is that a rule?
Why do we have to make the same music we made in the ’50s? I’ll go toe-to-toe with anybody who says they know country. I have such respect for the format but, we need growth to go somewhere. Country music will die if we make the same music year after year and I think there’s stuff going on now that’s pretty damn cool.
“Jack Daniels” (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Lynn Hutton)
“Jack Daniels” comes from how a live audience is going to react. I look forward to breaking it out onstage. It’s got a bit of a J.J. Cale, “Lay Down Sally” groove. There are some mistakes in there and some talking on the track – we left all that in. I love how alive that song feels. I’ve listened to it fifty times, and I find another part on there every time.
“Springsteen” (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Ryan Tyndell)
“Springsteen” is my favorite song on the album. I lived that song. I’ve been that guy. I was 15 years old and she was 16. We had that love affair where you connect with someone and the artist that was playing becomes a soundtrack to your relationship. We didn’t stay together, but to this day, when I hear Springsteen, I think of her and I hope she thinks of me.
“I’m Getting Stoned” (Eric Church / Jeff Hyde / Casey Beathard / Jeremy Cradey)
“Stoned” was the last song written for the record and a smoking little track. That gutstring guitar on the intro is from the work tape we made on my tour bus—we just lifted it off and stuck it at the start. On the outro, I love how I jumped on a line the guitar played and then we went back and forth feeding off each other.
“Over When It’s Over” (Eric Church / Luke Laird)
Where “Creepin’” felt like the right start to this record, “Over When It’s Over” was the clear track to be CHIEF’s finale. Loose, full of vibe, Joanna Cotten providing plenty of mojo, and not to mention lyrically it announces the end of itself. It truly is “Over When It’s Over.” I thought it was the perfect way to wrap this album up.