Peyton Manning Opens Up About Loving Eric Church on Luke Combs Podcast

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images)

Recently, former NFL legend Peyton Manning joined country star Luke Combs on his podcast where the pair talked about their shared love of Eric Church.

Combs debuted his new podcast this past September on Apple Music called Bootleggers Radio. For Episode 8 of the show, the country singer welcomed the two-time Super Bowl champion.

The former Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos quarterback says his love for country music began in Knoxville at the University of Tennessee. Growing up in Louisiana, he mainly listened to his parents’ music like Elvis Presley and The Beatles. However, once he got to college, country music took over his playlist.

When speaking about his favorite country artists with Combs, he singled out Eric Church. One of Manning’s best friend’s Todd Helton, who also attended UT and is a former Colorado Rockies slugger, helped get Manning into Church’s music. In fact, Church’s “Springsteen” was Helton’s walk-up song.

“Eric’s a guy I’ve gotten to know these past few years,” Manning explained to Combs on Bootleggers Radio. “I think my appreciation for his music has grown even more with hearing his story. Hearing how he got started in the industry, and the time and the work that he puts in, and ideas for songs.”

“I mean, to me, it’s the process, right? You’re always hearing Nick Saban at Alabama talking about the process. That’s all that goes into what happens on Saturday afternoon,” he added.

“It’s no different for you guys, all the work behind the scenes. He’s a grinder. He loves it. He loves everything about it. He’s great in concert, in person. Heard him at Red Rocks, heard him at The Pepsi Center here in Denver, and [he’s] a great live performer,” Manning said of Church.

Eric Church Readies New Triple Album ‘Heart and Soul’

Speaking of Eric Church, the country star is close to releasing his highly anticipated new album. It sounds like he’s going all out for his newest release. In April, he’ll be sharing three albums worth of material split into two parts titled Heart & Soul.

The musician spent time in his home state of North Carolina recording the album. In fact, Church and his crew took an unconventional route. They recorded the entire album in a restaurant in the Appalachian mountains called Artisanal.

But don’t get the wrong idea. He didn’t choose the restaurant so he could be catered to at one of his favorite dinner spots. Creating that many tracks was at times both physically and mentally exhausting. Church says there was a stretch of three or four days that he went without sleep. To promote creativity, Church and his team would create a song per day. The group would write a song in the morning and record it that evening. Rinse, repeat.

“I did not anticipate the mental creative grind that doing this daily would do, where you have to come up with something every day. I got to where there was once stretch, three or four days, I didn’t sleep. It was a lot harder than I thought, and just going through that grind mentally, creatively, I’ve never been there before. I’ve never been out that far on a limb with the creative process,” Church said about the album’s creation process.

Fans will get a chance to hear the first portion of the triple album soon. Heart, the first part of the album, will debut on April 16. One week later, on April 23, Soul will release as well.