Eric Church brings a whole lot of roots rock to the ACM Awards this end of the week with his live debut of new song “Bunch of Nothing.”
On “Bunch of Nothing,” a three-and-a-half-minute foot-stompin’ jangler, Church plays rough-around-the-edges narrator on who “how to kick Saturday in the a**.”
The back porch jam discovers Church’s character singing about how he knows “every hole in the Clinch River/ And I know how to find them bass/ I know how to tune a six string Martin …”
But, when it comes to patching a broken heart, he tells listeners: “I know you want your sunshine back/ I know a whole lotta ‘bout a lil’ somethin’, somethin’/ And a whole bunch of nothing ‘bout that.”
At the ACM Awards in Nashville, he joins a list of anticipated performances from Dierks Bentley with The War and Treaty, Miranda Lambert and Elle King, Kenny Chesney and Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Stapleton, and in excess of twelve others.
Church co-wrote the song with Jeff Hyde for his triple album project “Heart & Soul.” Church released the first installment, “Heart,” last Friday. A second chapter, “&,” drops Wednesday for his fan club. “Soul,” the final installment, hits stores and streaming services April 23.
The previous winter, preceding COVID-19 shutdowns, Church decamped to small-town Banner Elk, North Carolina, to write and record the 24-song “Heart & Soul” in 28 days. He set up for business in an unfilled café, enlisting tenured bandmates, longtime producer Jay Joyce and a pivoting cast of Nashville collaborators.
He moved toward the improvised North Carolina meetings at a “manic” pace, Church disclosed to The Tennessean recently. For about a month, he would wake up, write, record a song and repeat.
“The best way [reevaluation has] ever worked for me in my career is to get as uncomfortable as you can get,” Church said, adding: “I think the entire thing was everything I had to give. There’s nothing else — internally — by the time we got to the end of this thing. I was spent. I was like a wrung out dish rag.
“That’s where ‘Heart & Soul’ came from. That was everything we had.”
Church contends Sunday for Entertainer of the Year, top ACM Awards prize.
The ACM Awards air Sunday at 7 p.m. on CBS and Paramount+.