Re: Q106 responsible for Eric Church success

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Posted by 'Tis True on May 01, 2009 at 14:04:22:

In Reply to: Q106 responsible for Eric Church success posted by on April 30, 2009 at 13:21:25:

As an ex-CC employee I can tell you that Star refuses to play his music. Power to the Q!

: Country singer Church doesn't let radio silence faze him

: Tom Alesia
: Wisconsin State Journal April 29, 2009
: ---------------------------------------

: Eric who?

: Even an avid country fan might not know much about Eric Church. Without any radio hits, mainstream country acts -- and Church is one, with a dose of old-school attitude and contemporary appeal -- usually fade from Nashville quicker than the Dixie Chicks after a political quip.

: Yet Church's show on Thursday, April 30, at the 950-person capacity Barrymore Theatre sold out more than five weeks ago. It's easily one of the most-awaited country concerts in Madison this year -- and Church, who turns 32 just after the show, did it despite hearing yawns from radio nationwide.

: It's happening elsewhere, too. Relentless touring attracted Church's faithful and raucous young adult crowd, and strong material from start to finish on his two albums, including the recent "Carolina," made him a relatively unknown star.

: "I think that makes it a bit cooler," Church said. "We're being featured in Rolling Stone. They came to talk to us because we haven't had the radio hit, but we're having success. It's an anomaly."

: Church had three top-20 cuts off his debut album, starting with "How 'Bout You." His current single, the soft-edged "Love Your Love the Most," is making a slow rise toward possible hit status. Church added: "When the radio hit comes -- and I hope it's coming right now -- it's something that's going to throw a lot of gas on this thing. But I can't worry about it. I just keep playing shows. The thing about us is you see the power of music. People are finding it by word of mouth. It's fun to watch this grow."

: Boosted by Madison radio station Q106, Church receives more airplay here than most cities. Church also has played in Madison several times before, cultivating an audience. Last summer, he played a packed acoustic benefit show in a Middleton hotel ballroom. It was an astonishing show, as the crowd sang along with several album cuts from his debut, "Sinners Like Me."

: "We have to get back to making great albums and building fans through that process," Church said. "I know people who have had massive No. 1s that I played with a couple of years ago, and I can't tell you where they are now."

: Church, whose tour includes an appearance at rockfest Lollapalooza, wants to stay loyal to country fans. A graduate of Appalachian State University in North Carolina, he's devoted to hard-core country -- Merle Haggard is the topic of one Church anthem -- and wants to bring new fans to the genre.

: "I still think country music's the coolest format. It's the true home of the troubadour. It's the true home of the singer-songwriter," Church said.

: A renegade who favors Jack Daniels and Coke (and mentions the drink often in his songs), Church receives the biggest crowd response on a tune called "Livin' Part of Life" about tossing it all in and going fishing. Yes, he wishes the record label had released it as a single, but that's in the past. He's thrilled with his current tour.

: "We've come into some towns and they're trying to scalp tickets in the parking lot," Church said with a laugh. "That's always a good sign."

: Who: Eric Church with opening acts Jonathan Singleton & the Grove and Ashley Ray.
: When: 8 p.m., Thursday, April 30
: Where: Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave.
: Tickets: Sold out

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