September 28, 2020

Outsiders Radio: Episode #67

AIR DATE: September 2020



Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the sixty-seventh episode of “Outsiders Radio.” It’s been ten months since our last full show.  We did two nights in Sacramento at the end of November.  Since then we’ve been very busy, but we haven’t been on a stage with the band.  That changed last week.  The band & I got together on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.  You may not know this, but the Grand Ole Opry House opened to the public in March of 1974.  At that time, the country was going through a lot of political turmoil, caused by the Watergate scandal.  It was in that context that Johnny Cash wrote and recorded THIS song that was part of our performance on the stage of the Opry House.


It felt great to do that song on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House for the ACM Awards show.  It’ll feel even BETTER to do it with an audience.  But until then, we have that memory and that experience.  A lot of the performers and winners spoke with the media after the show, and you’ll hear some of them this week on Outsiders Radio. Here’s Carrie Underwood.


Carrie: This is the most unusual awards show I’ve been to, but I think everybody did a great job, and really came together to celebrate music, like tonight, not only new artists, Tenille Townes and Mickey Guyton get on stage and do what they do, but also me getting to honor some of the women who we’re all standing on their shoulders, so I think it was a great night for females in country music, and I look forward to more.





That’s Carrie Underwood with a song written and performed by Loretta Lynn, from a tribute album that was released ten years ago.  As Carrie mentioned, a lot of women performed on the ACM Awards show last week.  Perhaps one of the most dramatic came from newcomer Mickey Guyton.  She became the first black woman to perform on the ACM show.


Mickey: The only reason I felt like I could pursue country music was because I saw another black woman singing country music named Rissi Palmer. So being on that stage representing women of color shows that they have that opportunity too.  It doesn’t have to be R&B, it can be country music, and they’ll be accepted by this beautiful community.



Mickey Guyton and the song she performed on the ACM show.  As we continue highlighting some of the women from that show, Maren Morris said she as ecited to get back on stage after a long layoff.


Maren1: The performance itself was so emotional because it was at the Ryman, it had been months since I’ve seen my band, so even though there was no audience, at least we’re getting to play live music in almost a year. We didn’t want the song to end because we don’t know when we’ll see each other again.  After you have a kid, you have to fit back into your artist shoes for a minute, so it was a lot to absorb, and I had so much fun up there.



Shortly after performing that song on the ACM Awards, Maren Morris was named Female Vocalist of the Year. It was one of two awards she won that night.


Maren: I’m in shock still. I feel like the female vocalist is so monumental, the women who’ve gone before me, that’s who I should have thanked, all the women who came before me and won that award. I’m friends with all the women nominated with me, so it just feels amazing to walk away with that award, and also to walk away with Vocal Event with Miranda, Kaylee, Tenille, and Ashley, so it just feels like the night of the ladies.



Miranda Lambert along with Maren Morris, Ashley McBryde, Tenille Townes, Caylee Hammack, and Elle King.  We’re spotlighting some standout moments during this year’s ACM Awards.  Tenille Townes won an award for THAT song, and she also was named New Female Artist of the Year.


Tenille: Hearing the news from Keith Urban on a Zoom call that I thought was just going to be an interview and then he popped up on the screen was the most wonderful surprise and craziest thing. I will never forget hearing this news from him and just seeing the smile on his face and feeling my hands shake and man, just being so excited. My heart feels so very happy right now.



Tenille Townes performed that song at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium during the ACM Awards.  Riley Green was also on that stage, were he won New Male Vocalist of the Year.


Riley: Yeah I did my performance at the Ryman, very different than anything I’ve ever done. It’s an awesome room to play in, everybody’s spread out, had to get a COVID test within so many hours, everybody’s got masks on, but as stressful as it was, there was still the moment of me playing in the Ryman, and I hope the feeling that I had translates in the awards show because it was a special moment for me thinking about what I was doing.




Trisha: We’ve had a lot of loss this year. Not just people that are recognizable names like Joe Diffie and Charlie Daniels and John Prine and Bob Kingsley…but maybe a face you saw every weekend on The Opry – Jimmy Capps played the guitar. Every time you would turn around he was there, and now he’s gone. There are just so many folks that we’ve lost that really mean a lot to this industry. So, I am really honored to sing a song that I think pays tribute to them and also gives us hope that they’re still with us.



Trisha Yearwood performed that song at the ACM Awards in memory of the ones we lost this past year.  As we continue with our look back at the ACM show, I want to congratulate my good friend Luke Combs on winning two awards.  He talked about performing that night after the show.


Luke: Yeah performing tonight felt good. It was the first time I performed outside my garage in 6 months. The tour bus has been parked outside my house since March, so to be able to come in today and play at the Bluebird and things were different than they usually are, but just being able to play music and win some trophies has been really great.


Luke picked up Male Vocalist and Album of the Year.  In fact, I’m actually ON that album, so that’s pretty cool.  But here’s Luke about winning the Album award.


Luke: Yeah it means a lot, it’s been a bucket list thing for me, I remember seeing a couple of my heroes win this award, just thinking if I put the work in, it could be a dream come true. This is a team effort, I’m just the one behind the mic and helped write these songs. Without my team, my wife, and my family none of this is possible, so I’m thankful to be part of that.



Being a part of an award-winning might not mean much to you, but it does to me.  Congrats again to my friend Luke Combs.  He debuted his new single at Nashville’s Bluebird Café, and it’s a song he wrote for his new wife Nicole.


Luke: I wrote that song in Boone NC where I went to college, I usually do a writing retreat every year, it’s always been special, Nicole has been a constant theme throughout the last few years of my music, she keeps me grounded, and is a constant inspiration for songs, so I always try to pay homage to her, and I’m thankful people are loving this tune and I’m excited for people to get to hear it on the radio and pumped that the ACMs let me get to this it tonight.



That’s Luke Combs with one of several new songs performed on the ACM show last week.  My buddy Keith Urban hosted the entire night, live from the Grand Ole Opry House.  He debuted HIS new single, a duet with Pink.


Keith: I’ve always loved Pink’s voice. I love her as an artist.  She’s one of the great singers. She’s one of the great singers in the world, and I hoped I’d find something one day that might work, and this song came about. I didn’t know her, but found someone who knew her, and got the song to her and luckily she loved it.


That’s the new single by Keith Urban, a duet with Pink called One Too Many.  It’s on Keith’s brand new album, “The Speed of Now Part 1.” The album also includes a duet version of a song I co-wrote a few years ago called We Were.  Here’s Keith’s recollection of recording our duet.


Keith: I had Eric come into the Sound Emporium studio in Nashville, and bless his heart, he was on tour, had a day off, and he’s like ‘I’ll come on by,’ so he came in and did his part, and I redid a few bits and pieces of mine too, it was a collaboration, and I wanted it to feel that way as well. I love working with Eric, he’s incredible.



As we wrap up this weeks show, I want to wish someone special a Happy Birthday.  He’ll turn 9 next Saturday.  When I wrote this next song, he was only 3.  I still learn from him, as most parents do.  There will also be a little “gift” around that time for my fans.  I’m Eric Church…see you next time on Outsiders Radio.  Happy Birthday, Boone.