Kenneth Eric Church
is a Country Music
singer and songwriter. Originally known as the guy whose errors gave Taylor Swift
her big break - he couldn't shorten his set as the opening act on a Rascal Flatts
tour - Church has subsequently exploded as a live act in his own right, mixing his story-songs with a hard rocking style owing to Black Sabbath
as much as Waylon Jennings
He first got his foot in the door in late 2004-early 2005 as a co-writer on Terri Clark's "The World Needs a Drink". Although it took him until his third album to score a major hit, Church kept plugging away, building a fanbase and touring frequently. Radio finally granted him a first #1 in early 2012 with "Drink in My Hand", then followed that up with the summertime smash "Springsteen". His fourth album, The Outsiders
, followed in 2014.
- Adrenaline Time: All over the place in the "Homeboy" video.
- Bowdlerise: Two of his singles have had drug references removed:
- "Smoke a Little Smoke" changed "Dig down deep, find my stash / Light it upů" to "Dig down deep, find my glass / Fill it upů" the first time, and "Find my match" the second time. This is done to mask the fact that what he's smoking isn't tobacco.
- "Creepin'" changed "Your cocaine kiss and caffeine love" to "Your caffeine kiss and nicotine love".
- Cool Shades: He is rarely seen without aviator sunglasses.
- Early-Bird Cameo: As mentioned, he co-wrote Terri Clark's 2004 single "The World Needs a Drink".
- Epic Rocking: Though his lengthy set got him in early-career trouble, none of the studio versions qualified until the multi-part suite "Devil, Devil", clocking in at 8:03, appeared on The Outsiders.
- Genre Roulette: The Outsiders spans power balladry, pop-country, scraps of Progressive Metal, occasional hip-hop beats, and what critics call "a song seemingly written for Haim by a ping pong ball" under the banner of Country Music.
- List Song: "Love Your Love the Most" is basically a list of stuff that he likes, capped off with "But I love your love the most".
- Love Nostalgia Song: "Springsteen" and "Give Me Back My Hometown".
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: "The Outsiders" shows that he can easily go into 6-7 range.
- Progressive Rock: Parts of The Outsiders, especially "Devil, Devil" and the ending of the title track.
- Rebellious Rebel: Church definitely plays to this image - why else dedicate an album to "the outsiders"? - given further credence by a more rock-oriented sound than most contemporary country artists.
- Rhyming with Itself: "Give Me Back My Hometown" rhymes "hometown" with "hometown" on the chorus.
- Shout-Out: "Like Jesus Does" has two. The song is book-ended by the line "I'm a long-gone Waylon song on vinyl", and the first verse contains the line "I'm a good ol' boy drinkin' whiskey and rye on the levee".
- Signature Style: Many of his songs have strong rhythm sections and loud guitars, often coming across as a mix of Southern rock and funk. There's also Jay Joyce's love of studio trickery and/or non-standard instrumentation, such as the harps on "Homeboy" or vocal filters on "Creepin'".
- Song Style Shift: "Cold One" does this twice. The first verse is slow and twangy before the more mid-tempo, rocking chorus. Then after the second chorus, the song breaks into a blisteringly fast guitar solo before returning to the moderate tempo.
- Surprise Pregnancy: Averted in "Two Pink Lines". The young couple in the song is worried because the woman is two weeks late. At the end of the song, the test comes up negative, and she leaves.