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Revolution has cast a spark in mainstream country music, and relentless outlier Eric Church is to blame. Since the release of his first album, Sinners Like Me (2006), Church has led his pack one-by-one through retrospective songwriting, invigorating live shows, and a hard-boiled attitude soaked in blood and sweat, and ice cold beers.
His “don’t-back-down” attitude and “road-less-traveled” approach helped earn his latest ground-breaking album CHIEF the coveted Album of the Year title at the 2012 CMA Awards and RIAA Platinum certification with over one million copies sold. CHIEF has produced No. 1 singles “Drink In My Hand,” (RIAA Gold-certified), “Springsteen” (RIAA Platinum-certified), Top 5 fan-favorite “Creepin,’” and latest poignant single “Like Jesus Does.” Not to mention, his first-ever headlining arena tour, aptly titled Eric Church: The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour, sold over one million tickets in the U.S. alone in 2012, before recently selling out all shows in Canada through spring 2013. The New York Times helped shed light those mega ticket sales when they named The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour one of the “Best Concerts Of 2012” (of all genres) and called it “a mean show,” adding, “Mr. Church has clawed his way into the country mainstream with a series of post-outlaw anthems, and delivered them with verve and tension, as if he might not be allowed to for much longer.”
With no shortage of accolades surrounding him as he comes off of two 2013 GRAMMY nominations (“Springsteen”), the CMA Album Of The Year title (CHIEF), and a whopping seven 2013 ACM nominations after being named the Top New Solo Vocalist in 2011. His ACM nominations this year include: Male Vocalist of The Year, Video Of The Year, Vocal Event of The Year, Single Record of The Year, Song of The Year and Album of The Year), Church will wrap The Blood, Sweat and Beers Tour and head out on the road on select dates with Kenny Chesney on the No Shoes Nation tour while beginning to think about the direction he’ll take on his forthcoming brand new studio album, projected for release in 2014. “Making a record is so hard for me, and it’s hard on me because of what I go through as a songwriter and what I go through in the recording process,” says Church. “Looking back, CHIEF will be one of those defined records for us and for our careers… we plan to go deep on it with singles.”
But while fans anxiously await their ‘chief’ to release new music, they can celebrate the release of his first live album, Caught In The Act: Live, recorded at Chattanooga’s historic Tivoli Theatre, which hits stores nationwide (April 9), followed by the release of a double gatefold vinyl version that will be available exclusively in all independent record stores on National Record Store Day, Saturday, April 20. The new 17-track album features raw, electric performances of hits from all of Church’s albums including fan-favorites “Pledge Allegiance To The Hag,” “Smoke A Little Smoke,” “How ‘Bout You,” “Creepin’” and more, and the vinyl package (available April 20) will include four additional tracks and a special whiskey-infused 7-inch. American Songwriter writes, “Church sings and plays just differently enough [on the live album] to create variety from his studio versions and his performance confirms that his voice is easily just as good as how it sounds on a produced record.”