AIR DATE: DECEMBER 2017
Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the thirty-fourth episode of “Outsiders Radio”. I hope you had a Merry Christmas! Last month, I was at the BMI Songwriter’s Festival in Maui…of course it’s impossible to have a bad time in Maui. But I had the BEST time, and I’ll tell you all about it in this episode of Outsiders Radio. Among the legends there was the writer just named an ICON at the BMI Awards: Bob DiPiero, who wrote THIS monster hit for George Strait.
King George and Blue Clear Sky, written by this year’s BMI Icon Bob DiPiero. Bob was with us in Maui last month for the BMI Songwriters Festival, along with two previous Icon winners, two of my heroes: Kris Kristofferson and Willie Nelson. Let’s start with Kris. As my fans know, Kris Kristofferson is the reason I’m here. If it hadn’t been for him, I would have given up on my dream in Nashville and returned to North Carolina. I had the chance to tell Kris that story at the All Star Celebration they held for him last year. Listen:
From “The Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson: All Star Concert Celebration,” that’s a song Kris wrote called To Beat The Devil. Kris attended the BMI Songwriters Festival in Maui last month. Kris actually spends about 6 months a year there. I have to confess that I still get nervous around him. He meant so much to me. In fact his wife and my wife have become friends. One night, about a few years ago, my wife called me to say Kris & Lisa were coming to our house for lunch. Sure enough, they came over, my wife made B-L-Ts, and they spent about 5 hours at my house. He told the story about landing a helicopter on the lawn of Johnny Cash’s house to get him to record Sunday Morning Coming Down. But Kris was also with us last month in Maui, so to get to know him and hang out with him has been maybe the most satisfying thing in this career.
The great Kris Kristofferson singing two of his best, and the two songs we sang together at the BMI Songwriters Festival in Maui last month. I’m Eric Church and this is Outsiders Radio on The Highway. I mentioned there were two legends with us at the Festival. The other was another Maui resident: Willie Nelson. I didn’t get the chance to spend as much time with Willie as I did with Kris, but you know how much I love Willie.
Yes indeed I love me some Willie Nelson. Willie was at the BMI Songwriter’s Festival in Maui last month, along with his sons Lukas and Micah. Other celebrities there included Steven Tyler and Woody Harrelson. There was a night where we were all invited to Willie’s house to play poker, but I left before that happened. The night before, Willie asked me what kind of card player I was, so it may have been good that I got out before that happened. Still, I had a great time with Willie at his 4th of July picnic a couple years ago.
Willie Nelson & Kris Kristofferson were two of the legends at the BMI Songwriters Festival in Maui this year. On the other end of the spectrum, there were a few newcomers, including a new singer/songwriter named Ashley McBryde. I did several shows with her this past year, and you’re going to be hearing more from her. In fact here’s her current song: A Little Dive Bar.
That’s one of my favorites from the new singer/songwriter Ashley McBryde. She was one of the new artists at the BMI Songwriter Festival last month in Maui. Also there was a good friend of mine who’s been enjoying success recently: Jon Pardi. Jon won the CMA New Artist of the Year award in November, and he had one of the biggest songs of 2017 with Dirt On My Boots.
Jon Pardi with one of the biggest hits in 2017, and he deserves all the success he’s having. He’s worked hard for it, and it’s finally starting to happen. I got to spend time with Jon at the BMI Songwriters Festival in Maui. Also there was this next lady: Maren Morris. We had some time there to talk together, and we had a nice conversation. I know she’s going to go far. Here’s HER current song.
That song’s nominated for a Grammy at the 60th annual Awards Show, taking place January 28th in New York City. I’ll have some Grammy memories for you in next month’s show. But we’ve been spotlighting the annual BMI Songwriters Festival in Maui. Maren, Jon Pardi, and many more great artists were there. A bunch of my songwriting collaborators were there as well: Casey Beathard and Luke Dick. Luke, Jeff Hyde, and I teamed up for this next song.
You’re probably hearing THAT one a lot on the radio right now. At least I hope you are. Anyway, I hope you had a Merry Christmas and got to spend time with your family. I spend the holidays in North Carolina. My boys are 6 and almost 3, which are great ages around the holidays. I wrote this next song when Boone was 3. Now his younger brother is getting around that age, and it applies to him as well. Thanks again for a great year on the road, and I look forward to speaking with you again in the new year.
Eric Church hosts Outsiders Radio monthly on SiriusXM's The Highway. Eric explores his personal music influences and plays his current favorites. Church will also play exclusive, never before heard music from his own archives.
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