Eric Church will release his third studio album, Chief, on July 26. The album is said to be ‘the most head-turning country album of the year.’ “Homeboy,” the first single from the album, gives a glimpse at the edgier sound fans can expect to hear from Eric, who is taking his cues from some of country music’s greatest artists as he prepares to release the project.
“I have a theory that all of us [artists] only get a small window of time to make records when people will really listen and care,” Eric said. “It’s up to us to move the needle. People like Waylon and Cash or Garth and Strait, – they all took the format and said, ‘We’re going over here,’ and they each changed the direction of the music a little bit – helping to make it what it is today.”
Eric took a month off and retreated to a secluded cabin in North Carolina to reflect and write the entire album before returning to Nashville to once again work with producer Jay Joyce. The “alive and breathing” feel of his new music inspired the name Chief, after a nickname given to his grandfather that he himself has adopted over his years on the road. “When it’s show time, I put on the sunglasses and the hat, and that’s how people know it’s game time,” he said. “This album was made from a live place; we recorded it with the live show in mind, so it just seemed right to make that the title.”
It’s the passionate support of his fans that has built Eric the career he has today – the same fans who voted him the ACM’s New Solo Artist of the Year last month. “More than anyone else, we have built our career on the backs of the fans,” he said. “We have not had a lot of TV exposure or number one songs, but we have had music that stirs passion, we put on shows that stoke the flames of that passion, and our fans have carried the torch. Our music belongs to them.”
Eric is on tour with Jason Aldean through June 5 before he joins Toby Keith’s tour starting June 30. His brand new video, “Homeboy,” which was filmed at Nashville’s Tennessee State Prison, will hit GAC next week.