Spending 61 Days in Church

Is there anything better than waking up on a Friday morning to new Church music? That’s a rhetorical question because the answer is obviously no! Normally I wouldn’t be this excited about spending 61 days in Church but in this case, I’m pretty freakin’ excited!

Eric teased us this week by letting us know that we could be expecting something this morning. With just the title, “61 Days in Church” and a promotional video to go off of, many correctly assumed it would be a collection of live recordings from his Holdin’ My Own Tour. Thirty songs are currently available on Apple Music but over time 122 recordings (!) will be released. That’s two songs per show and they’re all being released in chronological order. So far he’s included his shows from Lincoln, Sioux Falls, Grand Forks, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Green Bay,  Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Kansas City, Tulsa, Dallas, Little Rock, Duluth (Georgia), and Birmingham. Can’t wait to hear the recordings from the two days I spent in Church in Pittsburgh and Washington, DC!

I’ve been listening to the live recordings since I woke up this morning and am pretty happy with what’s been released so far. My favorite things about the first 30 songs include: Ray Wylie Hubbard’s appearance on “Screw You, We’re from Texas,” cover songs such as The Band’s “The Weight,” the inclusion of catalogue songs that didn’t make past live albums like “Two Pink Lines” and “Where She Told Me to Go,” Eric messing up the words to his own songs (in “Faster Than My Angels Can Fly” he sings about not yielding to your soul when the devil gets weak. What?!) and of course Joanna Cotten bringing it as always on his live recordings!

I also love that the city-specific posters that were created for each show serve as the image associated with the songs from that city. I especially like the one below from his Boston show!


I am a little disappointed that he didn’t include the live recording of “Can’t Take It With You” from Philadelphia as I know he performed it there on this tour. Oh well! This collection (so far) also doesn’t include some of the fan favorites from his concerts like “These Boots” and “Pledge Allegiance to the Hag” but considering that there are still 92 songs left to be released, I wouldn’t be surprised if they made an appearance later.

According to the email from Eric Church HQ this morning, “songs included are catalogue and cover songs as well as songs inspired from events that happened while on the road.” Fingers crossed that his performance of “Rusty Cage” in Washington, DC makes the cut!

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It’s not clear how often Eric will add songs to this collection (the Facebook post on his page just says “we’ll roll out many more in the weeks ahead”) so I’ll continue to check and see when new songs have been added and try to keep you guys updated, either on here or on Twitter (follow me at beltway_boots if you’re not already.) I’m also curious to see if all 122 songs will be different or if he’ll release the same song a couple of times. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

What’s funny is that I almost got rid of Apple Music not too long ago but something inside of me told me to keep it. Always follow your gut instinct, y’all! Apparently mine is very in tune with Eric Church.

I also realized that every post that I’ve done in the “Brand Spankin’ New Music” category (all three of ’em) has been related to Eric Church. Maybe I should just rename it “Brand Spankin’ New Church Music.” I probably wont.

Currently listening to: Eric Church’s “61 Days in Church!” Duh!

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Mark Leach Wants a Girl Who Goes to Church

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I’ll admit that I just learned Mark Leach’s name today. He’s a new country artist who hasn’t yet broken into the mainstream that I only just discovered thanks to Twitter. He’s been around for a few years though- in 2013, his album With Love From Tennessee came out and he’s released a few singles since then. On the website for Mark Leach Music, his sound is described as “Keith Urban meets Dierks Bentley meets Eric Church.” The reason he popped up on my Twitter feed is because is new single just debuted today. His single is titled, “She Don’t Go to Church,” and it’s about (you guessed it) Eric Church! Whiskey Riff calls this song an “anthem for Eric Church Fans,” so I think you guys can pretty much already guess how I feel about it.

In “She Don’t Go to Church,” Leach sings about a girl who’s a got a lot of good qualities- she’s a good Christian, she listens to Alan and Waylon, she’ll drink a cold one on the weekend- but when it comes time to drop a dollar in the jukebox, she don’t go to Church. And when the Chief comes on the radio, she don’t sing along. Despite all that she’s got going for her, the fact that she’s not an Eric Church fan makes her undatable (I feel ya, Mark!)

According to Cleveland Country Magazine, “Mark Leach is a self-proclaimed Eric Church fan” and it shows in this new single. Throughout the song, Leach references many of Eric Church’s song titles “as a great play on words.” My favorite lines from the song in which Leach does this are:

“She don’t know “Guys Like Me,” so I can’t date a girl like her, ’cause she don’t go to Church

and

“Oh, I really wanna love her “Like Jesus Does,” but she keeps killin’ my “Round Here Buzz,” cause she don’t go to church” 

I’m curious to see what the future holds in store for Mark Leach. One thing’s for sure- he’s made a fan out of me with this song. I’ll be playing it all weekend along with some Eric Church because unlike the girl in this song, I do go to Church.

 

Currently listening to: All of the Eric Church songs that the girl in this song won’t listen to

Old Testament Eric Church

I know it’s not Sunday so I shouldn’t be preaching about Eric Church but when he performs a new song for the first time, I gotta call a short service into session.

If you’re one of the lucky people who got to attend the Church Choir fan party at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville this past Friday, then you got to hear Eric Church play a brand new song called, “Old Testament Me.” Thankfully, videos have surfaced from the performance giving all of us who weren’t lucky enough to be there a chance to hear it. Could this new song be a sign that we can expect more new music from Eric? I sure hope so!

Eric’s message in this song is that if the world sees him as weak for following the teachings of the New Testament (referencing the four gospels), then they better be careful what they wish for, because they’re not gonna like it when they see his Old Testament side. He sings about “eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth” (Exodus 21:23-25), which is an Old Testament teaching that Jesus rejected and instead said to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39). But as Eric says in this song, sometimes when you turn the other cheek it gets mistaken as “a sign of weakness.”

I’ve given the song a few listens and tried to compile the lyrics to the best of my ability for y’all. I’ve also included the video from his performance below if you wanna take a listen.

Eric Church- “Old Testament Me” 

Yeah, I’ll never forget the way it felt
Being disciplined by the Bible Belt
You fold your hands and bow your head
Everybody forgives when they can’t forget

It’s hard to see the world like that
When you become a husband and a dad
If it were up to me, what I would do
Is treat ’em eye for eye and tooth for tooth

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
I did what you’re teaching
But if the world thinks when I turn the other cheek
That it’s a sign of weakness
Then you ain’t gonna like what you see from Old Testament me

If danger shows up at my door
It’d better be prepared for war
I’m not a vile or violent man
But I’m a son of a bitch when you box me in

I see the news, I read the mail
Seems like everything’s gone to hell
But if judgment was [unclear]
I’d be the first to send you there

Yeah, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
I did what you’re teaching
But if the world mistakes when I turn the other cheek
As a sign of weakness
Then you ain’t gonna like what you see from Old Testament me

There’s a time and place for grace and love and
There’s a time for turning tables just like Jesus did

Matthew, Mark, Luke and John
I love what you’re teaching
But if the world thinks when I turn the other cheek
That it’s a sign of weakness
Then you ain’t gonna like what you see from Old Testament me

Currently listening to: that one line from the song that’s unclear over and over again until I get it.