(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
This ought to put a spring in Eric Church's step. Last week in Las Vegas, when he was in town for the ACM Awards, Keith Urban told CMT Radio he's been listening to lot of Eric Church's music lately. "I really like 'Homeboy' by Eric Church. I really like the last couple of singles he's had out. I think 'Smoke a Little Smoke' and 'Homeboy' are both really great sounding records. That's why I like them on the radio," Urban said. "I think there's a lot of great music happening in Nashville that's unique to each artist." Now, I can't speak for Urban, but what I like about both of these Church songs is that they are unique to him. His distinctive vocals are just right for these songs -- and for most of his songs, for that matter. But what I love about these tunes getting Urban's seal of approval is that it shows how much he loves real country music. Imagine how disappointing it would've been if CMT had asked Urban who he's listening to, and he'd listed a heavy metal band you'd never heard of or a rapper you wished you'd never heard of.