HomeEntertainmentMusicCountry MusicWATCH: Eric Church Makes Surprise Grand Ole Opry Appearance, Performs Unreleased Song

WATCH: Eric Church Makes Surprise Grand Ole Opry Appearance, Performs Unreleased Song

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for America Salutes You)

Eric Church made a surprise visit to the Grand Ole Opry on Dec. 10. And while he was there, he played a never-before-heard song that he wrote for his father.

The country music star visited the iconic stage to welcome his friend Ashley McBryde as she had her official induction. While there, he joined her in for her song Bible and a .44, which the duo sang together during Church’s Holding My Own Tour.

Church left the singing to McBryde after the duet. But later in the set, he came back to the microphone to unveil his new project with an acoustic performance.

The lyrics honor his father, Ken Church, who emotionally and financially supported his son’s dream to become a Music City artist. In the words, Eric Church explains how similar he and his dad became.

“I wear jeans and boots, I drink not-light beer, sometimes I tell the truth or what you want to hear,” he sang. “When I’m dealing cards, I always keep one hid. I like to buy used cars, cause my dad did.”

And he went on to croon about all the ways that he looks up to his father now that he’s a “grown-ass man.”

“I remember as he would play songs, I can remember being in the backseat listening to him sing, and I would honestly bounce across that bench seat, window to window, playing air guitar and drums,” Church told the crowd after he wrapped up the debut. “And as I got older… I have two boys, and as I was playing [them] songs, I found that it was the same songs my dad used to play me.”

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The 45-year-old then moved into his single, Hippie Radio, which also pays homage to Ken and retells the story of sliding around and singing in the backseat of his dad’s Pontiac.

Church didn’t say whether he plans on releasing the tune, and he also hasn’t announced if he has a new album or tour in the works. But he’s staying plenty busy with other endeavors.

The Springsteen singer is currently working on a new six-story bar located on Nashville’s Lower Broadway that he named Chief’s after his 2011 platinum-selling record. The singer hopes to hold the grand opening sometime next year.

The massive venue will be home to a recording studio and host major performances while still keeping an intimate vibe.

“Well, there’s gonna be a studio in Chief’s,” he told SiriusXM’s The Highway. “And we’re going to do a lot of stuff live there. We’re going to do a couple of exclusive shows there. And I’m going to play… It’s going to be a different show. It’s going to be 470 people.”