Chase Rice Gives A Nod To Eric Church In New, Unreleased Song, ‘Church’
“If you’ve ever seen Eric Church live, you’re like, ‘damn, that’s my guy.’”
Chase Rice; Photo Kaiser Cunningham, Eric Church; Photo by Anthony DAngio
Chase Rice recently showcased a new song inspired by country superstar Eric Church during the 31st annual Tin Pan South Songwriters Festival.
Throughout his set during the writer’s round, Rice shared stories and memories behind the making of his latest album, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell. He started off with an acoustic performance of “Key West & Colorado” and continued with several more tracks off the project including “I Hate Cowboys,” “If I Were Rock & Roll,” and “Bench Seat.”
For his final song of the night, the singer-songwriter decided to step away from the album to introduce a brand-new, unreleased tune titled, “Church.”
“I wrote a song last Tuesday, first song I’ve written since I wrote my last record,” Rice said before explaining the night that inspired the new song. “I went to an Eric Church concert in 2008 and he’s great. I went to his show, it was right after I lost football, which was supposed to be my career. All my football buddies are retired now and I’m kind of just still going and getting going, so I’ll take this career all day long.”
He continued, “I went with this girl named Katie; she could see that I was going through it and she said, ‘do you wanna go to a concert?’ And I said, ‘okay, I’ve heard a couple of songs. He’s pretty new, but I’ll go see him play.’ That night he had me, man, he was singing about PBR’s, he was singing about going through tough shit, and if you’ve ever seen Eric Church live, you’re like, ‘damn, that’s my guy.’”
Throughout the lyrics, Rice cleverly illustrates how this show didn’t feel like any other country concert. It was more spiritual as if he was attending an actual church service and being blessed by the country star’s impressive catalog of songs including “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag,” which Rice references in the chorus.
He sings, “He raised the boots / We drank the beer / We sang the songs we never heard on the radio / I fell in love in the very front row / She took my hand and the choir sang “ooh” / Through his hat and his glasses and her brown eyes / Between the hag and the jack on a Saturday night / I was baptized in whiskey water for better or worse / when she asked me to Church.”
This isn’t the first time Rice has expressed how the fellow North Carolina native has influenced his career. In an interview with Country Central, he explained how one of the tracks of his latest project titled, “Bad Day To Be A Cold Beer,” was inspired by Church’s fan-favorite party anthem, “Drink In My Hand.”
“We recorded it and I kept telling everybody, I was like ‘guys this sounds exactly like ‘Drink In My Hand. We gotta stop and figure this out,’” he said. “That’s when Rob came in on the acoustic guitar and started playing the really fast part in the beginning and I was like ‘Okay, now we’re onto something.’ Cause I’m not trying to sit here and copy what anybody else is doing.
“So we got away from ‘Drink In My Hand’ as far as the production goes. It inspired it, but we didn’t copy it,” Rice added.
As he shared during the writer’s round, “Church” marks Rice’s first write since the release of his latest full-length project, I Hate Cowboys & All Dogs Go To Hell, which dropped February 10, 2023.
These authentic melodies of this album marks a new chapter for Rice. Within a two-week period, Rice, producer Oscar Charles and a live band came together to record all 13 of these tracks at Chase Rice’s farm outside Nashville. With the decision to eliminate tracks, this collection turned out to be different from anything Rice has ever created in his career so far.
Chase Rice is currently on the road for his headlining Way Down Yonder Tour, which launched on March 3 in Laughlin, NV. Recent dates have been added to the trek, extending its run to July 1.
Serving as support on select dates are Ashland Craft, Conner Smith, Dalton Dover, Kameron Marlowe, Read Southall Band, Tyler Braden, and Avery Anna.
Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.