October 28, 2020

Outsiders Radio Episode #68

AIR DATE: October 2020

SHOW THEME: New releases


Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the sixty-eighth episode of “Outsiders Radio.”  It seems like a long time ago…but back in April, we put out a video asking “Who Will Answer The Call?”  Now, six months later, the question remains.  We’re all counting the days til we’re all back together.



We’re releasing a new song every month, and that’s our October song, with thoughts & memories of those we lost on a sad day in Vegas three years ago.  New music means new hope and new energy, so this month we’ll spotlight some new releases in country music.  First on the list are my guys: Brothers Osborne.  Their last album came out over two years ago.  THIS one faced some unique issues.


Brothers Osborne: Yeah exactly, one of the unique things about this album is we suffered a pandemic during the making of it. So a lot of things got in the way of it.  In the very beginning, I suffered tinnitus, which is ringing in my ear.  Then TJ got salmonella poisoning. Then a tornado hit east Nashville. Then COVID hit. So it was hard to get this record actually finished. But we persevered, we got through it. Here we are in October, it was supposed to be released months ago, but COVID pushed it back, and now it’s finally being released.



That’s the first single from Brothers Osborne’s new album, just released a few weeks ago.  They named the album “Skeletons.”


Brothers Osborne: Would be a fitting time to release an album called Skeletons in October, the month of Halloween, with an album called Skeletons, which ended up being perfect. We didn’t want to overdo the imagery of Skeletons and instead of having skeletons on the cover, we’d have a keyhole, which has cool imagery. I thought we’d be walking through the keyhole, into another dimension, which is what we want this album to be for people, when they listen to it, especially during a pandemic and inundated with the crazy news cycle, just turn it on and hopefully it’ll transport you to a new place, so TJ & I are walk into uncharted territory for ourselves, and hopefully it’ll do that for the listeners as well.



That’s the title song of Brothers Osborne’s new album Skeletons.  Also new in the record bin in the Deluxe version of “What You See Is What You Get” by my buddy Luke Combs.  The package has five previously unreleased songs, including one that features one of my favorite musicians: Amanda Shires.


Luke Combs: She played fiddle with me on “Beautiful Crazy” on the ACMs last year, and that was the first time that we got to meet. She’s just a great player, and when we were putting that song together in the studio, me, Chip and Jonathan, I was like man I really want this track to be fiddle heavy and so we had worked together in the past and I knew she’s a top caliber musician, so she was our first call to work with on that and she did a bang up job, it was great.



Luke Combs and Amanda Shires, with a song Luke wrote for his fans called Without You.  Luke has had a string of #1s, including our duet.  Luke was asked if there’s been any commemoration for the success of that song.


Luke Combs: Yeah! I definitely sent him a text and thanked him and we’ve gotten the chance to hang out since then. He’s a really awesome guy. We had a really great time hanging up at his place.  I definitely wasn’t like “here’s why I love this song so much” I mean I feel like as a fan I totally wanted to and could’ve done that but I found the restraint somewhere to not. But no, it was cool. The neat thing was to kind of just talk and career stuff and just talking career advice. There’s not a lot of… in our business, everybody is so busy and so you don’t have a lot of opportunities to use other artists as a sounding board, whether that’s for advice or how to handle a certain situation. So being able to have different folks, not just Eric, to do those kind of things is really neat. And getting to do it with a guy you look up to so much was really, really fun.



Thanks again to Luke Combs for inviting us to be a part of that song.  You’re listening to Outsiders Radio, I’m Eric Church, and we’re spotlighting some new releases.  It’s rare we can talk about new music from The Eagles. But a few weeks ago, they released “Live From The Forum 2018,” a 2-CD/DVD package from their three-night series of sold out shows in Los Angeles.  Joining them for those shows: Vince Gill.


Vince: It’s not even believable, truthfully, and the thing I keep in the forefront of my mind is the only reason I have that chance is because of something sad that happened, the passing of Glenn Frey. He was my buddy, we were golfing buddies, and what I’ve really taken from this is the reaffirmation of how important songs are.


Of course no one could REPLACE the late Glenn Frey…but his spirit was there in the body of Glenn’s son Deacon, who sang his father’s lead on THIS song.



It’s always great to hear the sound of live music and a sold out show.  Hopefully we’ll get that chance again very soon.  Last month we celebrated the new ACM Female Artist of the Year Maren Morris.  Shortly after that, she released a new song and video that she wrote just a couple of months ago.  The song is called “Better Than We Found It,” inspired by current events.


Maren: I just realized oh my goodness, how amazing and timely would it be to get this song out before the election, just as a reminder to our country that we still have time to get on the right side of history and to leave something better for our kids, for the next generation, so it just kind of snowballed from there.



You can see the video for that song at  Earlier, Maren talked about the timeliness of that song.  That also played a part in the new Dierks Bentley single: “Gone.”


Dierks: When it came time to cut some new stuff, this one rose to the top. I gravitate towards it because I love the title. I love country wordplay, “ever since you left I‘ve been gone.” I feel like I’ve been gone. I feel like we’ve all been gone. I feel like country music in 2020 is gone.  So it touches on what’s been going on with COVID, but does it in a metaphorical way. I love the groove, love the way it feels, didn’t write it, but it’s written well, and I wanted to put something out that you can enjoy listening to. I’m not to focused on making an album right now, more focused on putting out a good song my fans might enjoy hearing, because it’s been a while.



Dierks Bentley has many musical influences.  He often cites bluegrasser Del McCoury.  But one of his childhood favorites passed away a couple weeks ago.


Dierks: I’ve had so many friends text me about that, and all my friends texted me because I was the biggest Eddie Van Halen freak there was.  Thirteen years old, I discovered the electric guitar because of Eddie Van Halen, changed my whole life, stopped listening to country, started listening to rock & roll because of him. Luckily I got to meet him thanks to Kenny Chesney, when I did a show with him in LA a million years ago.  It is sad, he had a huge influence on the entire musical world.  There should be more talk about it, it’s just another 2020 thing that won’t get as much attention as it should, but he had a huge influence on me.


There probably ISN’T a country side to Eddie Van Halen.  But there’s one song that evokes the chicken-pickin’ style of James Burton, Albert Lee, and Vince Gill.  The New York Times referred to Eddie’s playing on THIS song as “Van Haggard.”




Eddie Van Halen was just one of several musicians we lost this past month.  Mac Davis had his first success writing hit songs for Elvis Presley and Kenny Rogers.  He even found success as a movie star.  But he also had a string of hits by himself.  He did a lot of singer/songwriter shows, and this was one of the songs he was proudest of.



While on the subject of Texas, there was another loss to the music world in October.  Back in the early 70s, there was a bustling music scene in Austin.  In the middle of it was a trio known as the Lost Gonzo Band: Michael Martin Murphy, Ray Wylie Hubbard, and Jerry Jeff Walker.  Sadly we lost Jerry Jeff last week.  He was best known for writing the Top 10 hit “Mr. Bojangles,” but he also recorded “LA Freeway, Desperadoes Waiting For a Train,” and THIS classic written by Ray Wylie Hubbard.



Jerry Jeff Walker was an outlaw BEFORE the Outlaw Movement.  He’s why Willie left Nashville for Austin.  We will ALL miss what he meant to country music.  As we wrap things up this week, we just put out a new video for a song that’ll be our next single.  I’m Eric Church…see you next time on Outsiders Radio.