Eric Church Makes 12-Year-Old Drummer’s Night

Midnight Jamboree Ends With Dream Come True

Evan Hale is only 12. But he’s so good on the drums, he drew a crowd outside the Ernest Tubb Record Shop that was almost as big as the crowd gathering inside for Charlie Worsham’s Midnight Jamboree show last Friday (June 10).

Hale had driven from Kentucky down to Nashville with his parents and his sister for CMA Music Festival. And he brought his drums so he could do some street busking for the music fans who’d gathered on the sidewalk.

But the drums were loud and the crowd was big, the people from record shop kindly asked Hale to stop playing.

To soften the blow, they invited him into the show.

“You could tell he hated having to stop him, and then he said he wanted to try to make Evan happy,” Hale’s mom told me. “He said, ‘You know, Eric Church is gonna be here later. Do you like him? Would you want to meet him?’”

At around midnight, they went inside the store and watched the show for a couple of hours.

“It was really, really hot, so we stood by the back of the crowd,” Hale told me.

Still, he was only about 50 feet away from Worsham and Church. And then he got to meet Church.

“It was so great to meet someone in real life that I’d seen in music videos. It was just a really cool experience,” Hale said, adding that when Church told him he’d heard he was a great drummer, it made his day.

“We didn’t talk to him that much because he was getting ready for his performance,” Hale added.

Worsham, the headliner and host of the Jamboree, had posted a picture from backstage, saying that while Church was in the photo, it was more about the moment when Hale met one of his heroes and how it felt like one big answered prayer.

Church also posted on social media about the spontaneity of the nights and mornings during the CMA Music Festival.

“Sometimes CMA Fest brings the unexpected, and a 1AM jam with Charlie Worsham in a 130F degree room is right up there,” Church wrote.

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