(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
It's Stanley Cup play-off season, which means hockey players are growing all kind of beards. So is that why Eric Church is rocking a little more facial hair under his ball cap and aviators? No. That is not a hockey playoff beard. It's just a making-new-music beard. Church told CMT Radio he's been working on his new studio album, the follow-up to his CMA and ACM album of the year Chief, and with new music comes a new beard. "We started the process, as evidenced by the beard," he said. As for how far along he is -- in recording or in beard growing -- he really can't say. "I can tell you that we've started the process, and then we'll go on to the next step in the process. There's like 20 steps to get the record done," he said. "I'm excited creatively to see where we can go from here and see what we end up with."