Eric Church and the two other co-writers of his recent No. 1 single, "Springsteen," carried away armloads of awards Monday (July 30) from a party given them by Church's record label, EMI Nashville, and BMI, the performance rights organization.
The party was held at Marathon Music Works, a new performance and production venue housed in a refurbished red-brick-walled factory near downtown Nashville.
Being celebrated were the two-week tenure of "Springsteen" at No. 1 on Billboard's country songs chart and the platinum certification of Chief, Church's current album. "Springsteen" has also been proclaimed platinum for having generated a million downloads.
Occupied by interviews, Church entered the party about 45 minutes after it started, wearing his trademark gray ski cap and sunglasses and mingling with a large crowd that included his "Springsteen" co-writers, Jeff Hyde and Ryan Tyndell.
Meanwhile, the partygoers amused themselves by catching up on industry gossip and quaffing the free Jack and Cokes and beer.
BMI's Jody Williams, who served as master of ceremonies, called the song being honored "the most compelling single of the year" and predicted that more industry awards will follow.
"Springsteen" recounts the romantic effects of a Bruce Springsteen concert on a teenage couple and how the memory of that long-ago event remains vivid.
Williams noted that Church's own concerts have sold nearly half-a-million tickets this year. "Who knows what's next for Eric Church?" Williams mused. "His career has a depth like no other in this format."
Of Hyde he said, "Jeff is one of the best musicians I've ever heard." Besides writing songs, Hyde plays banjo, acoustic guitar and mandolin in Church's band. Earlier in his career, he wrote for a publishing company Williams headed.
(Hyde later recalled that his first encounter with Williams did not get off to a great start. "I said, 'Jody, can I play you some songs?' And he said, 'Who are you?'")
Once Williams had summarized Hyde's achievements, he presented him the "Stay Humble" award, a framed certificate that Williams explained is also known as the "White Bread, Bologna and Water" award.
Hyde and Tyndell are both from Texas, and "Springsteen" is their first No. 1 song. In honor of that fact, BMI gave each of them an acoustic guitar.
Various officials at EMI deluged Church with awards, including a platinum album, a box of specially made cigars, sunglasses, brass knuckles, a full-size whiskey barrel, a bottle of Jack Daniel's whiskey with a custom-made platinum label and a snifter of whiskey, which Church sipped as the celebration rolled on.
"There are moments in your life," said Church, "when you sort of pause and say to yourself, 'Is this my life?'" In selecting people to work with, he said, the main trait he looks for is "passion." Of his own music, he asserted, "It's not anything that's fabricated."