Outsiders Radio: Episode #35

January 1, 2018


Hey everybody, it’s Eric Church back for the thirty-fifth episode of “Outsiders Radio”.   This time, we’ll celebrate the 60th annual Grammy Awards, taking place in New York City, and broadcast Sunday night on CBS-TV.  I’ll be performing a special Vegas tribute during the show.  I’ll tell you my story about GOING to the Grammys 3 years ago…after we play the title song from my Grammy-nominated album The Outsiders.

I guess nobody felt more like an “outsider” than me when I attended the Grammy Awards in 2015.  I mean, The Grammy Awards honor the best of the best in the music business.  That award is the Holy Grail of our industry.  In 2015, I had four nominations…one in every country category.  So I was offered a chance to perform on the show.  It was my first time performing on the Grammys.  Only one problem: My wife was more than 8 months pregnant, and she wanted to come.  So we had to take a nurse with us, in case she had the baby on the way to LA.  Thankfully, that didn’t happen. 

Lots of cool things DID happen…I got to share a dressing room with Sam Smith, who was the big winner that night.  But for me, it was all about being on that stage and getting to sing one of my songs.  Here’s the song I performed on the Grammy Awards in 2015, nominated for country solo performance and country song of the year.

I’m Eric Church and this is Outsiders Radio on The Highway.  We’re celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Grammy Awards, and remembering the year I had four nominations in 2015.  That same year, Miranda Lambert ALSO had four nominations.  THIS year, Miranda is nominated for TWO Grammys: Solo Country Performance and Country Song for THIS song.

Great song…nominated for Country Solo Performance and Country Song at this year’s Grammy Awards. There are a lot of great songs in the country categories this year by a lot of my friends.  Maren Morris is also in the Best Country Solo Performance category for her current hit: I Could Use a Love Song.  She actually found out she was nominated while she was flying to Maui last month…where she was performing at the BMI Songwriters Festival.  I was there as well and got to speak with Maren.  It’s all just starting to happen for her right now, and in addition to the Grammy nomination, the song also just became her very first #1.

Maren Morris and I could Use a Love Song…nominated for Best Country Solo Performance at this year’s Grammy Awards.  Also in that category is Chris Stapleton.  Chris has really become a force in country music in the last two years.  He has two of the year’s best-selling albums, he’s headlining arenas, and winning awards without getting a lot of radio airplay.  That’s something I really admire.  Chris isn’t making his music to win awards.  He’ll be the first to tell you that.  He makes music because that’s what he does.  I’m gonna play you two songs from Chris Stapleton.  The first is nominated for Best Country Solo Performance, and the second is for Best Country Song.  They’re BOTH from his Grammy-nominated album: “From A Room Volume 1.”  Here’s Chris Stapleton.

The unmistakable voice of Chris Stapleton…nominated for three Grammy Awards this year.  The only category he’s NOT in is Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group.  That’s where you’ll find my friends Brothers Osborne.  These guys toured with Stapleton last year, and they have a lot in common with him.  They’re on their own path.  Nobody sounds like them.  They’re not afraid to put a long guitar solo in one of their songs, they’re not afraid to tackle tough subjects, and they’re just not afraid of anything.  Maybe that’s why they’re succeeding.  Here’s Brothers Osborne.

That’s Brothers Osborne, nominated for Best Country Performance by a duo or group.  Also in that category is Better Man by Little Big Town.  They’re also nominated for Best Country Album.  We just played Brothers Osborne, and TJ actually wrote the title song of Little Big Town’s album: The Breaker.  That’s the song I’m gonna play for you now.  Phillip Sweet takes the lead vocal here, and you don’t hear him a lot on their records, but he’s the bass man of the band.  Something just a little different from Little Big Town: The Breaker.

That’s Little Big Town and the title song from their Grammy-nominated album The Breaker.  The thing I like about the Grammys is they’re all-genre.  Not just pop and rock.  They give awards for Best Reggae Song and Best Americana Album.  So I’m gonna play you some of THOSE nominations.  They might not get played anywhere else.  I was looking through the nominees list, and noticed that Leonard Cohen has two nominations.  Leonard wrote Hallelujah, the song I used to start my shows last year.  He passed away in 2016, but his last album was called You Want It Darker.  It’s nominated for Best Rock Performance and Best American Roots Performance.  Here’s Leonard Cohen.

Can’t get much darker than Leonard Cohen, nominated for Best Rock Performance at this year’s Grammy Award.  Also in that category is The Promise by the late Chris Cornell.  When Chris died last May, I was on the road, in Washington DC, and I did a version of his song “Rusty Cage.”

That’s my tribute to Chris Cornell, recorded last year in Washington DC.  That’s included in my live album, “61 Days In Church,” featuring a lot of the unique, one-time performances from last year’s tour.  One week after Chris died, we got the news that Gregg Allman passed away.  Once again, I was on the road, this time in Nashville, where I was able to do Midnight Rider in Gregg’s honor.  The irony here is that both Chris and Gregg are nominated for Grammy Awards this year.

Once again, from our live album, 61 Days in Church, that’s my tribute to the late Gregg Allman.  Before we leave Gregg, I had a couple of experiences with him.  I was part of a tribute show for him in Atlanta in 2014.  Then one year later, in the summer of 2015, I did a Q&A show with him in Los Angeles.  This whole radio show has been about the Grammys, and the show I did with Gregg was actually for the Grammy Foundation.  Anyway we answered questions, and talked about a lot of things, and then at the end, we did a performance of Midnight Rider.  Except it wasn’t the version I knew.  Gregg wanted to do it the way he wrote it.  I’ll never forget that.  With all this Grammy talk, we should probably play his song, nominated for Best American Roots Song: My Only True Friend.


The late Gregg Allman and his Grammy-nominated song: My Only True Friend.  So that’s our show about this year’s Grammy Awards.  It takes place Sunday January 28th broadcast live on CBS-TV.  I’ll perform a special Vegas tribute with Maren Morris & Brothers Osborne during the show, so be sure to watch. 

We mentioned at the start of the show that when I performed on the Grammys in 2015, my wife was pregnant with our second son.  He was born one week later, on February 15.  That means he’s about to turn 3.  In honor of my son Tennessee Hawkins Church, here’s Three Year Old.  Thanks for listening, everybody.

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.

Outsiders Radio will air on the last Friday of every month at 10:00 pm ET via satellite on The Highway channel 56 and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App on smartphones and other connected devices, as well as online at siriusxm.com. The show will also be rebroadcast on Mondays at 12:00 am ET and Wednesdays at 11:00 pm ET. Stream SiriusXM FREE for 30 Days. No credit card required. See Offer Details at www.siriusxm.com/freetrial. New SiriusXM Internet Radio subscribers only.