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 up…" to "Dig down deep, find my glass / Fill it up…" 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" breaks into a fast guitar solo near the end before resuming its original tempo.