How Eric Church Helped Inspire Ray Fulcher’s New Album

by Blake Ells

Ray Fulcher’s new studio album Spray Painted Line dropped on June 10. The singer-songwriter relied on one of his greatest influences for the album’s sound. He tells Taste of Country Nights that Eric Church is a “hero.”

“My thought on the album was to be almost a 2022 version of those early Eric [songs],” he told Evan Paul. “He’s kind of been my hero for a long time, and I get so much of my influence from those early Eric records.”

But it wasn’t just the new songs that Fulcher wrote that leaned on Erich Church’s influence. One of the tracks was written by The Chief himself nearly 20 years ago. That one’s called “The Battle of Betty’s Love.”

“I fell in love with this song that he wrote back in 2004,” Ray Fulcher said. “I found it, fell in love with it and it was not as hard as we thought. My producer called and he was just like, ‘Yeah, they can cut it. Absolutely.'”

Ray Fulcher has written songs in Nashville for years. One of his tunes, “Does to Me,” was cut by Luke Combs and Church. Chief was happy to return the favor when Fulcher called and asked if he could record his song.

“When I got to talk to him, he goes, ‘It’s an honor for you to cut that song because ‘Does to Me,’ it was an honor for me to be on that song and you wrote it,'” Fulcher recalled of his conversation with Church.

Eric Church Takes Ray Fulcher Under His Wing

Eric Church has a habit of taking rising artists under his wing. His relationship with Ray Fulcher is no different. And like the other artists before him, adjusting to calling a “hero” a “colleague” is a strange feeling.

“It’s [strange], surreal,” Ray Fulcher says of their relationship. “I’m like, ‘Um, you know you’re the Chief, right?’ It’s been awesome kind of getting to know him. I got to hang out with him a couple of times and just getting to hang out and getting to know the dude behind the aviators has been cool.”

Ray Fulcher has a slew of festival dates promoting the new music. He’s at WE Fest in Detroit Lakes, Minn. on August 5. He’s also at TidalWave in Atlantic City on August 12. Fulcher pays a visit to the Grand Ole Opry on September 6. He’ll perform alongside Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters at that one, among several others. He then has a string of dates with Craig Morgan across the Midwest and Southeast that wrap at Ryman Auditorium on November 11. Check out all of Ray Fulcher’s tour dates and get ticket information at his website.