Country Throwback: Watch Eric Church’s Epic ‘Smoke a Little Smoke’ Encore Performance in 2010

by Quentin Blount
Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Stagecoach

A decade ago, Eric Church delivered an incredible encore performance of his song “Smoke a Little Smoke” at the State Theater in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Church co-wrote the hit song “Smoke a Little Smoke” with his bandmates Jeff Hyde and Driver Williams. It was released in June of 2010 as the third and final single from his 2009 album Carolina. In addition, it was also the eighth single of the country star’s career to reach the Top 20 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. The hit party song peaked at number 16.

Fans at the performance ten years ago chant the song name “Smoke a Little Smoke” in hopes of an encore. Sure enough, after a few rounds of chants from the crowd, Church and his band come back out on stage to deliver it.

Have a look at the epic performance below:

Song Inspired by Conversation Between Eric Church and Driver Williams

The hit country song was inspired by a conversation Church had with his bandmate, guitar player Driver Williams. According to People magazine, the two men were chatting it up on the tour bus after a 2008 show.

“What’s the rest of your evening look like?” Church asked him. Williams replied: “I’m just going to drink a little drink and smoke a little smoke.”

The country star said that suddenly the football he was watching was not quite as interesting as it was before.

“I wanted to lie there and watch the game, but I kept hearing those words in my head,” he recalled to People. “The longer I stayed there, I thought, ‘Turn the quiet up, turn the noise down…’ I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it was interesting.”

It was after that encounter that Church, Williams, and Hyde sat down and dove deeper into the possible song idea. Church said that less than 30 minutes later, “Smoke” was born.

“It is an anthem to escapism,” said Church. “It’s about getting away from your life and everything that’s going on in your world. It’s a party song. The line ‘kick back, give the blues a spin, break out the wine and forget again,’ that’s very personal. To me there’s nothing better on a Sunday evening than a glass of wine, turning the blues on and sitting back in a rocking chair.”

Furthermore, the official music video for “Smoke a Little Smoke” was shot at the Clarksville Speedway near Nashville. In the video, Church drives around in vintage cars and both NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne and ESPN’s NASCAR insider Marty Smith make cameo appearances.