What a year for Eric Church.
With the release of Chief in the summer of 2011, Eric Church became the talk of the music industry. People from all genres had to take notice when Eric debuted at the top of the Country Albums Chart and the top of the Billboard 200. It was a huge statement for the singer who’s even struggled to gain respect in his own genre.
Now that Eric is at the forefront of all music genres it seems like he’s ready to take things even further in 2012.
Eric Church in 2012
Sometime in 2011, Eric Church became a superstar.
With the release of Chief and its singles there appears to be some real momentum in Eric’s career. Flashback to 2006 when he first debuted on the charts and it’s hard to believe where Eric is today. He was cast as a rebel outsider in the early days. The story of Eric playing for too long during his stint on a Rascal Flatts tour is well known (Eric was kicked off the tour). Since that time it was five years of struggle to even get a single in the top 10. Even today Eric struggles to get a song above the #10 spot on the Country Singles chart.
That all seems likely to change in 2012. Eric’s latest single, Drink In My Hand, is another rebel song that typically wouldn’t get radio play, but with Eric’s fans at full force it appears like this will become Eric’s biggest single to date.
One story that seems to parallel Eric’s is that of Miranda Lambert. Both singers struggled for years to get their singles played on radio. For some reason the stations were hesitant to put rocking tracks on the radio. Their songs covered aggressive and often times uncomfortable topics. Even when a song seemed perfect for radio play (Love Your Love The Most, Famous In A Small Town) they really couldn’t crack to the top five on the charts.
For Miranda, that all changed somewhere along the line and now she’s one of the biggest acts in music. Things have changed for Eric as well and his singles in 2012 should have no problem climbing into the top five with regularity.
It’s a new year for Eric and his status just keeps climbing and climbing.
The big upcoming news for Eric Church is the announcement of his first headlining tour.
The Blood, Sweat & Beers Tour kicks off January and runs through March. The traveling show will feature Eric as the headliner for the first time in his career. He’s played shows and fairs as the main attraction before, but this will be the first full off tour featuring Eric as the main draw.
It’s gotta be both exciting and nervous kicking off your first headlining tour. Up to this point Eric has been slowly building up to this point. When he was told to leave the Flatts tour he went out and hit up the small bars and taverns across the country. He played his rocking brand of country to anybody that would listen and after about a year or two Eric had built up a strong fanbase.
Now, Eric is testing the loyalty of his fans by playing bigger arenas.
There will be some help out on the tour as Brantley Gilbert opens most shows. Brantley just reached the top spot on the charts with Country Must Be Country Wide. Brantley and Eric should figure out really quick just how far country reaches as they hit every place from the Midwest to the Southwest. It’s going to be one fo the must see tours of 2012.
Drink In My Hand is poised to become Eric’s biggest song to date. The track is climbing fast and is on the edge of the top ten right now. Eric’s been in the top ten just twice before, but now he’s looking to really break into the singles charts with a top five or perhaps even a number one single.
Radio is really starting to respect what Eric is doing and I think he’ll do what he does best and throw them for a few loops. Eric seems to be a bit of a rebel and I think he might continue testing radio by releasing a song like Creepin’ or Keep On as the third single from the album.
I don’t know if Eric will really release one of those tracks or if he’ll take a safer route, but I’m sure he’s not looking for anything easy.
Awards and Respect
The next step for industry recognition for Eric Church should be awards.
The ACMs are in the spring and the CMAs follow in the fall. It’s time for Eric to be considered for the biggest awards like Male Vocalist, Album of the Year, and perhaps even Entertainer of the Year.
It will be interesting to watch the success of the tour in 2012. If things go really well and Eric plays to some huge and feisty crowds he could be looking at some major awards later on in the year. I think at the very least he should be a part of the discussion.
What are you looking forward to from Eric in 2012?
Outside of music he’s also become a dad. It sounds like he really enjoys taking care of his little one. It also sounds like the birth has changed him a bit. I think we’ll always see the hard edged sided of Eric, but we might see some softer songs in the future as a result of fatherhood.
I think it’ll be another welcomed addition to the personality of Eric Church. The more depth he has as a person the better his songs will become and I think more fans will be drawn to what he’s doing.
After a huge year it seems Eric is ready to take things even further in 2012. He’s heading out on tour. He has one of the best albums out right now and his fans are loving every moment of his shows.
2012 could be big for Eric Church.
All photos courtesy of EricChurch.com