September 25, 2019
Outsiders Radio: Episode #55
AIR DATE: September 2019
Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the fifty-fifth episode of “Outsiders Radio.” We’re already a few weeks into the fall leg of the Double Down Tour. We kicked it off a couple weeks ago in Green Bay. In between shows, we flew down to Ames Iowa to be Guest Picker on ESPN’s College Game Day. I picked Iowa to beat Iowa State…not an easy thing to do when you’re in the opposing team’s home town. As it turned out, Iowa won by one point. But I have a personal connection to Iowa: Their former quarterback, C.J. Beathard, is the son of my co-writer on MANY songs, including THIS one.
We’re gonna focus on songwriters in this edition of Outsiders Radio. If you’ve looked at the writer credits on my albums, one name that’s been there from the beginning is Jeremy Spillman. We’ve written a lot of songs together, including Sinners Like Me.
Jeremy: We knew when we wrote that we had something special. That’s been 16-17 years ago now, but we knew we had something special, we knew it was a big song, and it has been a big song. I think he might get lynched if he didn’t do that song. They love that song.
That’s just one of the songs we’ve written with Jeremy Spillman. As we said, Jeremy has co-written at least one song on every one of my albums. Here are just a few: Lotta Boot Left To Fill, Knives of New Orleans, and The Snake. Those songs and others will give you some insight into who Jeremy is, and what he brings to the writing room.
Jeremy: I think writing with Eric, because a lot of the ideas are his. We bring him stuff too, but a lot of the ideas are his. Eric’s a great writer, I think he likes the sparring match, I think he likes having the competition of beating you with a line. I think that’s why he co-writes, he likes the competition of it. I think guys like me who’ve been blessed to remain in the circle, he trusts us and knows he can bring us something and we’ll be honest, and he’ll be honest with us, but Eric’s enough of a writer where he enjoys the sparring that goes on in the writer room.
We’re spotlighting my good friend and co-writer Jeremy Spillman in this edition of Outsiders Radio. Jeremy has written a book called “The DeVine Devils.” I’ve read the book, enjoyed it, and I even wrote a “forward” to the book. It’s kind of a historical novel, a western based in the late 1800s.
Jeremy: That’s kind of how the book started. I’ve always loved Cowboy Rock. From Eagles Desperado or Bon Jovi Young Guns, for some reason, that’s one of my favorite things. I wanted an excuse to write those kinds of songs, so I developed this story. Then as I started to write this story, the story became bigger than the music, and the music changed to fit the book, but it started because I love Wanted: Dead Or Alive and I wanted to do something like that, and needed something to convince myself it was worth doing.
A lot of country stars have covered that song over the years, including Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Jon Pardi, and the Zac Brown Band. It’s also one of the inspirations to a new book called “The Devine Devils,” written by one of my good friends and co-writers: Jeremy Spillman.
Jeremy: There were definitely songs that drove it a little bit, there was a song I wrote with Little Big Town called Faster Gun, and I remember when we wrote it, it was like somebody was massaging my soul. I just loved that process. We holed up in a studio for a few days, we recorded the drums there, that’s Phillip playing the drums. I’ve been sober for 15 years, but I wanted so bad to do some kind of drug. Not really, but it just felt like rock & roll, and things like that sparked me to go all the way with it like I did.
That Little Big Town song was partly written by my good friend and co-writer Jeremy Spillman, who’s written a new book called “The DeVine Devils.” The book is based in the late 1800s, and is the story of two brothers, Audie & Shane DeVine.
Jeremy: The two brothers in the book end up becoming, for lack of a better term, a rock & roll band. I never say that in the book, but they become the most famous band in the west at that time. I wanted to create a rock & roll band that could have existed at the time. Obviously no electric guitars and the electric guitar becomes a fiddle, because that’s the only thing that could serve that purpose. So it’s this three piece band and they’re what rock & roll would look like in 1875. The fiddle’s the star, he’s not one of the brothers, and they realize he’s a way better musician than they are. They play because they need to get this angst out, and he plays because he’s a star, and I’ve seen that in so many band settings. That’s how I wanted to paint the fiddle player in the book, and that’s what I try to make him like in the songs too.
That’s one of five songs included with the new book, The DeVine Devils, written by my good friend & co-writer Jeremy Spillman.
Jeremy: Yeah I wrote all of em with Randy Montana, and Dean Dillion’s on one of them. Dean narrated the audio book. So he was part of it from the git go, Dean’s my all-time hero, as far as songwriters it doesn’t get much higher than that. I was very nervous when I asked him to narrate it, and I called him, he said ‘Send it to me and let me read it,’ and he called me back a couple weeks later and said ‘I’m in.’ So we did most of the recording at his ranch in Colorado, then he came here and finished te audio book, then Randy, him & I wrote one of the songs for the E-P.
That’s one of the songs by my good friend & co-writer Jeremy Spillman, and it’s included with his new book, The DeVine Devils. Jeremy’s songs have many fans, including my friend Jon Pardi.
Jon: Lotta Boot Left To Fill! God I love that, that’s a honky tonk metal jam. That was just a bad ass song. I can’t really reveal what’s going on next year, but I’ll be seeing Eric again.
Jon just released a new album called Heartache Medication, and I’m proud to say there’s a song on it that I wrote many years ago with Miranda Lambert called “Don’t Blame It On Whiskey.”
Jon: I’m a big fan of Eric. I’m a big fan of his songwriting. He’s an inspiration to me to keep doing something different. To keep doing what I’m doing, and that song was played at an A&R meeting, and I was like, I’ll record that song! Just gotta ask Miranda & Eric. They both said yes, and we went in and recorded it, and I thought we did a great job of capturing the message of the song through the production and the instruments, I’m lucky to have it, I thank them for letting me cut it, and it’s got a special story that Eric & Miranda wrote it, and I think we made a great country record.
DON’T BLAME IT ON WHISKEY—Jon Pardi (from Heartache Medication)- UNRELEASED SONG
Jon Pardi & Lauren Alaina with a song from Jon’s new album Heartache Medication. While we’re on the subject, there’s a song on Jon’s album written by one of my frequent co-writers (also my guitar player): Jeff Hyde.
Jon: I love his songwriting, the way he mixes words, I’ve always love the Old Hat song that he had, I love the spirit about it, the lyrics, it was so cool, and we took his version and made it bigger, put fiddle on it, Jeff heard it and loved it, and he’s such a good guy, we also wrote Just Like Old Times, and he’s a good guy, and of course Eric, I’ve always loved his songwriting, so it’s awesome to have Eric a part of this record, and Miranda, and Jeff and the songwriter list is stacked.
That’s another song from Jon Pardi’s new album Heartache Medication. Jon just launched his own headline tour, and joining him for the ride is newcomer Riley Green.
Riley: I’m going out with Jon Pardi this fall, and I’m sure that’s gonna be a lot of fun, I’ve done shows with Jon before, and I’m a fan of his music, he’s one of those guys who do that traditional thing that I appreciate, and he also manages to keep it current, which is a hard thing to do, to straddle that line, so it’s awesome to be able to go out with someone who you’re a fan of their music.
Riley just released his debut album, called “Different Round Here.”
Riley: For this record, I used the idea of what covers did I do during shows that did well, Eric Church “Wrecking Ball” was one of the sexier songs I used to do and people loved it when I did that song, so I thought I gotta write a song that’s got that type of feel, and that’s where ‘Hard To Leave” came from, that type of feel, and I wanna make a record that was gonna be something I can play a whole show of, and it would cover all the spots I want covered. Beyond that, it’s been playing songs and seeing which ones fans like.
Look for Riley Green on the road this fall with Jon Pardi, and then next year he’ll open the “We Back” Tour for Jason Aldean. Speaking of tours, I’m back on the road now with the Double Down Tour. Look for us in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Birmingham, Manchester NH, and Hartford. As we wrap up this edition of Outsiders Radio, I wanna say thanks to the Nashville Songwriters Association International. They held their annual Songwriters Awards last week, and chose “Some Of It” as one of their “Ten Songs I Wish I’d Written.” See you next time on Outsdiers Radio.