Eric Church Burns Up New York

Church, Eric

The final Country Music Association Songwriters Series of 2010 at New York City’s Joe’s Pub went out not with a bang, but in a puff of smoke, thanks to Eric Church and his resilient single “Smoke a Little Smoke.”

The singer, sporting a knit hat pulled down to his eyes, wrapped up his intimate five-song acoustic set with his unconventional ode to recreational puffing, a song a woman seated near the front of the stage laughingly said she “can’t play in front of her kids.”

“Now that’s an endorsement,” quipped host Bob DiPiero, before Eric lit into the rebellious anthem—which has kept the almost two-year-old album Carolina hovering in the Top 20 on the Billboard country album chart. Still, Eric isn’t resting on his laurels. He spent the last few months holed up in a North Carolina cabin writing his next album.

Last night (Nov. 2), however, the evening belonged to his past hits, including “Hell on the Heart,” “Sinners like Me” and an unanticipated request for his tale of a near-miss pregnancy, “Two Pink Lines.” “I just got handed a note,” Eric shared with the crowd. “It says: ‘We played ‘Two Pink Lines’ at our wedding—and, yeah, I was!’ So, damn it, I’m playing that.”

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