June 28, 2019

Outsiders Radio: Episode #52

AIR DATE: June 2019

Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the fifty-second episode of “Outsiders Radio.” It’s been a few weeks since we played Nissan Stadium in Nashville. In fact we played it twice...both times on the same stage. We’ll share some reviews of the show from some new artists who experienced that night with us...but first here’s the song that opened the night for us.

May 25th, 2019 will be one of those dates a lot of us will remember forever. It was a day when the problems of the world disappeared for a few hours, and the music took over. I said that night that I dreamed big when I came to Nashville, but I’m not sure I could have dreamed THAT big. I got to share that night with over 56-thousand fans. They tell me it was a new record for that stadium. YOU folks did it, we were just the entertainment.

There were some familiar faces in the building that night, a lot of longtime friends and family, including Ashley McBryde. We’ve been fans of each other for a while, and so it was cool to have her share that night with us. Of course Ashley has her own unique way of telling a story. So after the show, she spoke to some media folks, and this is how Ashley described that night.

Ashley McBryde: It was wonderful, I’ve been a big Eric Church fan from the git go. And to know, I remember there was a time when there were ten people at Joe’s in Rosemont in Chicago, and I know one of those ten people, that’s their claim to fame. To know those ten people became 56,000 people in a stadium, every crap place, every time you played in front of a projector and they wouldn’t turn the game down, every time a guy got pissed because a guy couldn’t hear his wife talking over the sound of his hamburger and you singing, when the football fans are mad because you’re playing, and your fans are mad because football’s you are in Nissan Stadium. So that was a’s sort of like the Lion King, when he’s like ‘Everything the light touches,’ I walked out on the side of the stage, look what Eric did, it was awesome.

It’s no secret that I love Ashley McBryde. We did that song on the Holdin’ My Own Tour a couple years ago. She joined me again at the ACMs to sing The Snake. She was side-stage for my show at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, and two weeks later, she got to walk on that very same stage during CMA Fest. Before that show, she spoke with the media backstage.

AM: It’s the same stage tonight, and it’s a very long walk from stage left to center stage, so I rehearsed that today. Like don’t trip, and how far is it to center stage. I drank a lot less today than I might. CMA Fest is CMA FEST, so you wanna go to the pedal tavern, no you can’t do that. Today was my first time to sing on a big stadium, so where am I gonna stand, what if nobody likes me, so if there are cables here, stay out of that guys way, and I’ll just stay here with my microphone until somebody points at me.


I’m Eric Church and you’re listening to Outsiders Radio on The Highway. In addition to 56-thousand fans, there were some new artists in Nissan Stadium for my show there in May. A few of them spoke to the media after the show. Full disclosure: I didn’t tell them to talk about my show. They talked about it on their own, so these are their words about the experience, and they’re talking to the media, not to me. We’ll start with a singer named Matt Stell.

Matt Stell: That Eric Church show was amazing, I hadn’t seen him in years, and he entertained a whole stadium just with awesome songs and his personality, and as a songwriter, that’s what you hope, you hope you can write songs people will respond to, and he’s one of my favorites and that’s why. Playing a stadium seems like a world away, but watching someone who can engage whatever it was, close to 60 thousand people and make it feel like it was a club, that’s pretty special, so the takeaway would be to entertain the whole crowd is a goal I would set for myself that’s for sure.

My thanks to Matt Stell for those kind words. If his name sounds familiar, he’s opened some shows for me, and he has a song on the radio now called Prayed For You.

Matt Stell: I wrote this song about a character who’s a lot like me, just way luckier than he deserves, whether that’s in relationships or work or school. I took us two sittings, which is a little atypical, but when we got it done, we knew we’d at least done what we meant to do that day, which is how I score if it’s a good day, we hit the target we were aiming for, we thought.

That’s newcomer Matt Stell, who has a new EP available now called “Everywhere But On.” Matt was at my show in Nissan Stadium in May. Also there that night was newcomer named Jameson Rodgers. He’s from Mississippi, and has been on the road this year with Luke Combs. He took part in a press conference during CMA Fest, and talked to the media about being at my show.

Jameson Rodgers: So Eric Church, I came to watch Eric Church a few weeks ago, and Eric Church is probably the main reason I’m in Nashville. His first record when he put it out, it was like the first time I ever thought, the first time I ever heard a record and thought I could write songs like that. So he put that out, I was a freshman in college, and I obsessed over that, and when I was done with college, I was like I’m moving to Nashville, so he’s been the bar for me. So watching his live show, I literally when from watching him playing for 20 people in Oxford MS in 2006 to 56,000 people last week, so what better inspiration can you have than that?

That’s so nice to hear, and the best news is that Jameson was able to sing on the exact same stage to a crowd almost as big during CMA Fest.

JR: I’m still shook, honestly, I still got done ten minutes ago, so it’s like I’m still kinda sweating, and it’s like what did I just do? I moved here 9 years ago, I’ve played every acoustic stage I could possibly play for this festival, so that was going through my head as I was up there, so it’s unbelievable, I’ve been to the festival a few times in years past, so it’s crazy getting’ to play it.

Here’s one of the songs from Jameson Rodgers: Some Girls.

That’s the debut song from Jameson Rodgers, and it’s one of five songs available at all the usual music spots. Next fall he’ll open shows for Luke Combs, who just released a new EP called The Prequel with this song.


That’s Luke Combs, who’ll be performing this week at Willie Nelson’s annual 4th of July Picnic in Austin. Joining Luke & Willie will be Alison Krauss, Jamey Johnson, Steve Earle, Ray Wylie Hubbard, Billy Joe Shaver, and many more. I’ve played that show myself, and any show with Willie Nelson is always a party, so if you’re in the area, check it out.

Earlier we heard from some new country singers who attended my show at Nashville’s Nissan Stadium. There was ONE artist who had planned on being there, but couldn’t, and that’s Kassi Ashton. She explained what happened during the CMA Fest press conference a few weeks ago.

Kassi Ashton: I was wearing a boot on my left leg, like a medical boot with the era pump thing, because I was rehearsing for a music video, I grew up dancing my whole life, six days a week, didn’t dance all of college, didn’t dance a couple years after college, then started dancing again, and was rehearsing for a music video, was barefoot trying to show off, and I sprained my big toe, which sounds funny and minor, but it’s actually turf toe, and it hurts. This is actually my third day wearing real shoes. They’re a half size bigger to allow for a swollen toe. But I was crushed because I’m the biggest Eric Church fan. But I’m sorry, Nissan Stadium and a boot just don’t go together.

That’s funny, and although she couldn’t make it to MY show, Kassi Ashton was at the same stadium on the same stage for CMA Fest.

KA: Whoa, I just did sound check, and even with 50,000 empty seats, with a few crew dancing, is intimidating, but I’m just gonna try to give em all I got, because this is what I dream of, so you can’t get nervous or tense or sucker up before cause it’s like, you better do it now. But to be beside artists like Dierks, Miranda, and Tim, those are like idols to me, so I’ll just try to do my two songs justice.

Here she is: Kassi Ashton.

That’s one of the songs Kassi Ashton did just a few weeks ago at CMA Fest. Also there this year: My good friends Brothers Osborne, who got to do THIS song with Brooks & Dunn.


That’s the current hit from Brothers Osborne, and for folks who couldn’t attend CMA Fest (like Kassi Ashton), or if you just want to see it again, you can watch the CMA Fest TV special Sunday August 4th on ABC-TV. I was there as well, and we did an acoustic medley, so we’ll highlight more of that show next month on Outsiders Radio. But as we wrap things up this time, I want to thank all of the fans who came out to our Nissan Stadium show last month, and in fact ALL of our shows so far this year. The Double Down Tour will resume in September with shows in Wisconsin, Calgary, and San Francisco. Until then, we’ll see you next time on Outsiders Radio.