It’s been a looong time coming. But Eric Church, the “Church Choir” and Church newcomers certainly have much to celebrate.
Eric Church is bringing his recently announced “Blood, Sweat & Beers” Headlining Tour to over 50 cities in 2012. The tour will kick off on January 19, 2012 in Fort Smith, AR. It serves a limited “Put a Drink in YOUR Hand” VIP Package” from its ticket menu. And Church will be brining along Brantley Gilbert as a special guest. Other artists scheduled to appear on various dates will include The Cadillac Black, Blackberry Smoke, Sonia Leigh, Jon Pardi and Drake White.
In case you haven’t been to Church . . . Let’s Backtrack a Bit !
Hailing from Granite Falls, North Carolina, Eric Church scored a degree in marketing and a few scars in rough and rowdy bars before moving to Nashville. “What I Almost Was” doesn’t much matter because what he set out to do, he did with steady, unshakeable focus and determination. He set his foot, his guitar and his songwriting skills down in a city and an industry where it’s all to easy to lose yourself in the shuffle. But Church didn’t get lost. Church found himself and his fans and rode the Holy Grail together, determined to stay true to who he is and asking “How ‘Bout You” in his debut “Sinners Like Me” single.
Unfortunately though, Church gained little by way of radio play and industry accolades since releasing that debut single, album and his Gold certified sophomore followup, “Carolina”. Church’s support was always the “Choir” (fans). Then in 2011 on the heels of “Homeboy” off his third studio album “Chief”, Eric took home the title and trophy for ACM Best New Solo Artist. He appeared as an opening act on Jason Aldean’s “My Kinda Party Tour” in early summer where he was blamed for bringing tailgating to an early end in Boston.
Then with word of mouth long fueling Church’s sweat-soaked, sold-out crowds, Church surprised Music Row naysayers in July 2011 when “Chief”, his third studio album, debuted at #1 across all genres, and topped the Billboard charts selling over 145,000 copies its first week and being certified Gold a mere ten weeks later. Eric wasted no time thanking his fans then returned to the summer concert scene as a special guest on Toby Keith’s Locked & Loaded Tour.
CHIEF is Spreading Like Wild Fire . . .
Well, it seems “The Choir” has certainly lit a wild fire over at Church and it just keeps spreading.
PEOPLE Magazine gave Church’s release four-out-of-four stars stating, “If any country album should command your attention right now, it’s CHIEF … Church is something to praise,”. And American Songwriter notes, “Eric Church seems perched at the precipice of superstardom.”
Eric took to the CMA stage in November for the first time and performed “Chief’s” second single, “Drink in My Hand”. He stated, “This was my fist time performing on the CMA and I really did not know what to expect. I was blown away by the energy from the crowd and it made the performance one hell of a good time. I hope I get to do it again.” Well, “Chief” received a spike of over 60% in sales following Eric’s CMA performance and then :
- Eric received a GRAMMY nomination for Best Country Album for “Chief”
- Taste of Country nominated “Chief” for album of the year
- NPR Music named “Chief” as one of their Top 50 Albums of 2011 stating, “On his third album, Church hits his stride, chronicling wild nights and epic hangovers with just the right amount of critical distance.”
- iTunes has named Eric their 2011 Country Breakthrough Artist of the Year and has featured “Chief” in their Best of 2011 section
- “Chief” landed the number 19 spot of Rolling Stone Magazine’s list of the 50 Best Albums of 2011 and
- “Chief” currently sits at number 9 on Amazon’s Best Country Albums of 2011
Eric caught his breath long enough to express, “I am so grateful for the many ways CHIEF has changed my life. There is no cooler thing as a recording artist than when people tell you that your music matters to them. Every single day the momentum for this record gets bigger and stronger, and I can’t wait for next year to share this music with the people who truly made this happen. It’s gonna be one hell of a tour!”
One Helluva Tour Indeed . . .
If that’s the prelude, what should we expect for the tour?
Well, Church shares, “We have been building our entire career for this tour. It is truly the culmination of a lot of blood, sweat and beer that has brought us to this point in our career”. He continues, “I have always trusted our fans to deliver with their dedication and passion, they have always exceeded my expectations. I have never been more excited to begin a tour than this one. The band and I are committed to emptying the tank every night and delivering the best show we can.”
And no other up-and-coming artist is quite as suitable for the raucous Church crowd as Big Machine Label Group’s Brantley Gilbert. At 26 Gilbert has been building his fan base on the outskirts of “polished” country for years in the southeast and holds an impressive list of industry accolades. The rising star made his debut at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Albums chart upon releasing his “HALFWAY TO HEAVEN DELUXE” album in September and along with the original has already sold over 300,000 albums to date. His first single on The Valory Music Co., “Country Must Be Country Wide,” recently scored the No. 1 spot at Country radio and Brantley received his first nomination at the 2011CMA Awards for Song of the Year. Gilbert is also quite a celebrated songwriter penning three No. 1 hits – “My Kinda Party,” (Jason Aldean) “Dirt Road Anthem,” (Jason Aldean) and most recently, his own #1 hit “Country Must Be Country Wide.”
Gilbert brings grit and attitude to the stage and there’s no doubt he will fit in just fine with the theme of The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour.
Eric Church – The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour:
January 19 Fort Smith, AR Fort Smith Convention Center
January 20 Cape Girardeau, MO Show Me Center
January 21 Southaven, MS Desoto Civic Center
January 26 Madison, WI The Alliant Energy Center
January 27 Saginaw, MI The Dow Event Center
January 28 Terre Haute, IN The ISU Hulman Center
February 2 Savannah, GA Savannah Civic Center
February 3 Knoxville, TN Thompson Boling Arena
February 4 Norfolk, VA Ted Constant Center
February 16 Greenville, SC Bi-Lo Center
February 17 Salisbury, MD Wicomico Civic Center
February 18 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
February 23 Battle Creek, MI Kellogg Arena
February 24 Cleveland, OH Wolstein Center @ CSU
February 25 Ft. Wayne, IN Allen County War Memorial Col.
March 1 Portland, ME Cumberland County Civic Center
March 2 Lowell, MA Tsongas Center at UMASS Lowell
March 3 Indiana, PA Kovalchick Center
March 8 Oklahoma City, OK Chesapeake Energy Center
March 10 Orange Beach, AL Amphitheater at The Wharf
(More dates to be announced)
Ticket prices range from $34.75 for reserved seats to $199 for the aptly titled, “Put a Drink in YOUR Hand” VIP Package. The package will be limited to no more than 200 fans per show and will include premiere seating, a pre-show party with food and drinks, a two-song acoustic performance by Church, as well as autographed memorabilia including a limited edition signed show poster, Eric Church – The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour t-shirt, and an exclusive tour laminate. The VIP experience will be made available through all ticketing outlets.
Be sure to keep up with Eric Church, join the “Choir”, follow him, “like” him, do whatever you have to do to stay updated because you don’t want to miss the “Blood Sweat & Beers” Tour.
A little something to hold you over and get you ready for tour time: