Eric Church Has a Life- (and Diaper-) Changing Year
Posted Dec 19th 2011 3:15PM by Gayle Thompson
Eric Church celebrated plenty of firsts in 2011. The North Carolina native not only won his first ACM Award (for Top New Solo Vocalist), he also scored his first-ever Grammy nomination, for Best Country Album, and topped the all-genre Billboard 200 chart for the first time in his career. Most significantly, he became a first-time dad to son Boone McCoy. It's been, the singer/songwriter acknowledges, a year of pleasant surprises.
"I love [my wife] Katherine," he tells the Associated Press, "but until the baby got here, it's a whole different level, because the sense of family and home. It's just a whole other level of commitment and love. It was all the feelings I had, just deeper. It was interesting as a dad to go from the kind of guy I was, and the stuff I did, to be able to make the transition to changing diapers and all those things. It's a neat change. It's not like anything I've ever experienced."
The 34-year-old admits having a baby in the house has forced him to change his routine, but he's not about to complain. "Early morning is when he's always up and ready to rock and roll," Eric acknowledges. "When I'm ready to go back to bed, it's up time. It's my job to entertain him for a while to give her a little bit of a rest, where it's her time to breast feed. I've come to really enjoy ... I mean, I'm a musician, so I can't tell you four or five times in my life that I've been up in the morning and it's been a pleasurable experience. It's been neat to be up and hang out with him."
The entertainer counts his Grammy nomination for his No.1 album, 'Chief,' among one of the biggest highlights of his five-year career. "It's the holy grail," he reasons. "If you're a recording artist, especially for the album category, it's the most coveted, especially for me. I'm a guy that grew up a fan of Grammy-nominated and Grammy-winning records, so to have one that's in that category is quite an honor. It just goes to show the people's response to 'Chief' and what it's done for my career. I'm proud of it. It's going to be fun. I've never been to the Grammy Awards, so it's going to be fun to go out there and see what it's all about."
In addition to heading to Los Angeles for the Grammys, Eric will also travel to more than 50 cities on his Blood, Sweat & Beers tour, which kicks off on January 19. While he may not enjoy spending the time away from home, Eric admits he has spent most of his life working towards the upcoming trek.
"We have been building our entire career for this tour," he explains. "It is truly the culmination of a lot of blood, sweat and beer that has brought us to this point in our career. I have always trusted our fans to deliver with their dedication and passion, they have always exceeded my expectations. I have never been more excited to begin a tour than this one. The band and I are committed to emptying the tank every night and delivering the best show we can."
Eric will be joined by Brantley Gilbert for all dates, with several other acts -- including Blackberry Smoke, Sonia Leigh and Jon Pardi -- splitting the dates. Keep track of his concert schedule here.