January 27, 2020

Outsiders Radio: Episode #59

AIR DATE: January 2020



ERIC: Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the fifty-ninth episode of “Outsiders Radio.”  This week we’ll look back at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards.  I’ve had some great experiences at the Grammy Awards.  I’ve performed on the show a few times, and in fact my son Hawk was born one week AFTER the 2015 Grammys.  That means his 5th birthday is comin’ up.  All genres are there at the Grammy Awards, and we’ll give attention to SOME of them here this week.  But let’s go back 8 years to an album that brought me my first Grammy nomination.

“Chief” got me my first Grammy nomination for Best Country Album.  I’ve been honored to be in that category three times: in 2012, 2015, and THIS year for Desperate Man.  We’ll talk about THAT later.  Also in the Best Country Album category this year was a country legend: Tanya Tucker.  She actually received four nominations this year for her album “While I’m Livin,’” produced by Brandi Carlile and Shooter Jennings. Tanya explained where she was and what she was doing when she got the nomination news.


Tanya: Well actually I bought a new house in Brentwood, the doorbell rang, Craig answered the doorbell at 6 in the morning, in his pajamas, and the cameras were rolling.  We went into the living room, and when they were announced on TV, the first one was Song of the Year all genre, and I went OK I need a cup of coffee. All of a sudden the first line was “Bring My Flowers Now.” I swear I was so shocked. You know what, it’s not like I plan to win any of these Grammys. But who I’d like to win for is my team. I even talked to people who used to work with me and I said they were a part of it too. And I want to win for Brandi & Shooter. That’s who I want to win for.


Well, Tanya got to share that moment with Brandi & Shooter, because they won Best Country Album and Best Country Song for THIS one. 

That’s the legendary Tanya Tucker with Bring My Flowers Now, winner of Best Country Song at the 62nd annual Grammy Awards.  That marked Tanya’s first Grammy win after 14 nominations.  It’s from her album “While I’m Livin,’” winner of the Best Country Album.  Also in that category, Interstate Gospel by Pistol Annies.


Pistol Annies: Interstate Gospel to me is just such a strong statement to me, as a traveler, when Ang came to me with that title it was striking to me. There wasn’t a discussion about should we call the record this. What we’re doing is preaching the truth.



Pistol Annies…nominated for Best Country Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.  Miranda Lambert is part of that group.  She was ALSO nominated in the Best Country Song category for “It All Comes Out In The Wash.”


Miranda: I wrote It All Comes Out In The Wash with the Love Junkies. I had the title in my phone for a while. I feel like the song is a mix of scenarios, realizing when you have something that’s hurtful, it will pass, it all comes out in the wash, so I’m proud of it, it’s a fun song.



I’m Eric Church spotlighting some Grammy nominees in this edition of Outsiders Radio.  Moving to the category of Best American Roots Performance, I see a familiar name: Rhiannon Giddens.  She joined me a few years back on “Kill A Word.”  She was nominated on her own for a song called “I’m On My Way.”



The unmistakable voice of Rhiannon Giddens, who was in the Best American Roots category at this year’s Grammy Awards.  ALSO in that category is another country legend, and a man who’s won 22 Grammy awards: Vince Gill.  He’s nominated for Best American Roots Song for “I Don’t Want To Ride The Rails No More.


Vince Gill: At its core, it paints this neat picture of timeless element of trains and traveling and being a drifter. The beauty of that song is it’s a song of longing and a song of yearning and somebody finding companionship. That’s what it’s about. That could be me, finding Amy, what that did for me, and how it brought peace to me. So many of these songs are woven out of truth of me and my life, but not so verbatim. They’re not my story, but an element that had something to do with my journey.



As you can hear, there were a lot of legends nominated for Grammy Awards this year.  Willie Nelson won his first Grammy in 1975, and he won AGAIN this year in the category of Best Country Solo Performance for this song.



The title song from Willie Nelson’s latest album Ride Me Back Home, winner for Best Country Solo Performance.  Also in that category, my good friend Ashley McBryde for the autobiographical title song from her album Girl Going Nowhere.


Ashley: The one story that stuck out to me was from high school, when a teacher asked each student what are you going to do when you grow up. She got to me and I said I’m gonna move to Nashville and write songs.  They’ll be in the radio. I’ll sing em or somebody else will. She told me that was stupid, that wouldn’t happen, and I should have a backup plan. I refused to do that. I moved here to do this. So I’m writing this song and he asks, ‘Have you played the Opry?’ I said Not yet but I will. He said, Let’s write a song for the first time you play the Opry, and let’s write it in such a way that Guy Clark wouldn’t mind if he heard it. And we did it.




We’re spotlighting nominees, as well as some winners at this year’s Grammy Awards, because it seems that just being selected as one of the 5 best in any category is an accomplishment.  We should give them their moment.  So we’re doing that here on Outsiders Radio.  In the category of Best Country Performance by a duo, here’s a collaboration from Maren Morris & Brandi Carlile.


Maren: I wrote Common and it felt like a spiritual song about wanting the world to become glued back together. That starts with a conversation. The fact that Brandi Carlile is a part of it, she just brought it to a more soulful process. I can’t imagine that song not having her vocals on it.



Maren Morris & Brandi Carlile and a song nominated for Best Country Performance by a duo. Also in that category, a couple of friends and former tour partners: Brothers Osborne.


At the start, I mentioned that I was honored to receive two Grammy nominations this year.  The one for Best Country Album was meaningful because it was a real challenge making this album.  I consulted with many people.  Along the way, I became friends with the legendary Texas singer/songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard.  Here’s HIS side of the story.


Ray: He called me up and said he wanted to write this song called Desperate Man.  So I came up here and we started writing this song and the impression I got that deep down he’s a songwriter, he’s got that songwriter soul.  I got this sense that lyrics were important. He said ‘You get this sense of hopelessness, but the idea is I’m desperate, but I’ve still got a smidgeon of hope.’  He said, ‘I’m gonna cut this tomorrow, and it may be the title of the album.’  I said ‘OK.’


The second Grammy nomination was for Best Country Song for “Some Of It.”  I wrote that song with Jeff Hyde, Clint Daniels, and Bobby Pinson.  Here’s Bobby’s recollection about the writing process.


Bobby Pinson: That was an idea that happened in a room with Jeff Hyde, Clint Daniels, and myself, and it’s one of those things if a song is sounding like an artist, we pump the brakes, let’s get a hold of an artist. When we started hearing that it needed a certain guy to say it, from a certain place, it becomes obvious, so it happened to hit Eric the same way. We wrote the song, we felt great about the song, and nothing happened. We thought maybe it didn’t fit the record.  He’s one of those guys who’ll write not to fit a record, and once a record starts taking shape, he’s not going to change it.  We weren’t sure we were make the cut and that obviously change for the best for all of us.  



Before we go, I want to congratulate my Tour Manager Todd Bunch on winning the CMA Tour Manager of the Year award.  The Double Down tour may have been the best tour I’ve ever been associated with, and my team deserves all the recognition they get for all of their hard work.  I wanna remind the fans that we’ll be doing some selected shows this year, including Stagecoach on April 26th.  For the latest, go to  We’ll see you next time on Outsiders radio.