Behind Eric Church’s Ray-Bans

This just in. Eric Church has very good-looking eyes. They are a rich, dark brown with just a hint of boy-next-door twinkle.

That was news to me — and likely to most of his fans, too — because for so long, Church has hidden his eyes behind his signature Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses. Honestly, I don’t think I’d seen his eyes since 2009.

Early on in Church’s career, from 2006 until about 2009, you could see his eyes on his album covers and in his videos like “Two Pink Lines,” “Guys Like Me” and “Love Your Love the Most.” But by the time “Smoke a Little Smoke” came around, Church had put his sunglasses on for good.

But then last week, during all the release-week hoopla surrounding his new album The Outsiders, Church took those sunglasses off for a few interviews. And there they were — his sweet brown eyes, looking like the antithesis of the badass that Church becomes onstage.

So when I had the chance, I asked Church about his decision to wear — or not wear — the Ray-Bans. Sunglasses are so much of a trademark for Church, by the way, even the “Chief” statue who holds court in his side-stage bar wears them.

“If I’m not playing shows, I usually don’t wear them. But my eyes don’t do real well in lights. So if I’m playing shows, I’ll have shades on,” Church told me right before he took the stage at Joe’s Bar in Chicago on Thursday (Feb. 13). “It doesn’t feel right if I don’t.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.