Country Throwback: Watch Eric Church Sing ‘Carolina’ for First Time in 2008

by Madison Miller

Eric Church was doing a lot in 2008. He was releasing singles, working on his second album, and sporting his long flowing hair.

Eric Church Debuts ‘Carolina’

In 2008, Church went on KISS 99.9 in Asheville, North Carolina. Here he performed “Carolina” for the first time. This would also be the name of his album released in 2009.

The second studio album from Church features songs like “Love Your Love the Most,” “Hell On The Heart,” “Smoke A Little Smoke,” and “Leave My Willie Alone.”

Eric Church was born in North Carolina and declares this song an ode to his home state.

According to Classic Country Music, he talked in the studio about his connection to the song and the album.

“Song for the home state here, this is the title track of the new record ‘Carolina.’ First time I’ve ever done it acoustic so we’ll see what happens here…there’s a nice yodel part you’re gonna love.”

“I’d love to see my mama / Maybe go for a drive / But I gotta play the star in some little town again tonight.”

In the middle of the song is a yodel. During the radio show, he explains how a tired, 7 a.m. voice made the yodel a bit rough.

Explanation Behind his Songs

In an interview with The Boot, Church explained that every artist has multiple sides. A good album should showcase that. “Carolina” mixes together blues, country, and rock to create a unique sound. A sound he says comes from living with a musical family with all their own individual styles.

“Unless you make a concept record, it should be a glimpse of the different sides of an artist. I grew up in a very musical family, with lots of different styles of music … and really, it’s just what’s in my soul,” Eric Church said.

“Carolina” was his second album and was released after he had been married for about a year. He called that his “anchor” and that marriage gave him “a place that’s home now.”

“Part of the reason we called this record ‘Carolina’ is I’m from there, and I wanted this record to feel more like home. Yeah, it’s got some punchier songs, some aggression and some stuff you wouldn’t expect from us. It’s just a more comfortable record than ‘Sinners’ ever was, and I think that’s directly related to my wife and being married, and the chances I’ve had in my life,” Church said.

Eric Church has that “outlaw” label for being a bit rough around the edges. He wants his music to be about more than just women, beer, and trucks.

In his song “Stick That in Your Country Song,” which he released in 2020, he proves this. The song addresses social issues like violence in cities, underpaid teachers, diversity, and poverty.

“Take me on up to Detroit city / Jails are full, the factories empty / Mamas crying, young boys dying.”