WATCH: Eric Church Belts ‘Livin’ Part of Life’ with Fellow Songwriters at CMA Fest 2009

by Joe Rutland

Country music singer-songwriter Eric Church knows how powerful words are when it comes to music. This is evident when taking a trip back to 2009.

As part of his CMA Fest “Fan Party,” Church has fellow songwriters join him for a rousing rendition of “Livin’ Part of Life.”

Here’s a clip of that intimate performance as we turn on the time machine.

Now six studio albums into his career, the North Carolina native and CMA Entertainer of the Year for 2020 always approaches things differently.

It does not matter whether he is playing back-to-back nights in nearly 30 cities on his 2019 Double Down Tour or pushing himself to new creative limits with his recording process.

Church has steadily amassed a faithful congregation – the Church Choir – since 2006’s release of “How ‘Bout You.”

Eric Church Has Deep Appreciation For Merle Haggard

One person in the world of country music that Church has looked up to is Merle Haggard.

Back in 2006, Church, in an interview at the 2006 BMI Country Awards, explains that he got his start thanks to the music licensing company, BMI.

Church is part of the audience on the night that Haggard is receiving the icon award. The young, long-haired Church happily says that he has a song with Haggard on his then-upcoming album.

“I’ve got a duet with Merle on my record, and it’s an honor to be here,” he says. “Merle heard there’s a song on the record called I ‘Pledge Allegiance to the Hag,’ which you gotta have Merle on.

“He heard it and we asked him would he be interested in signing it,” Church says. “He said ‘well I gotta hear it first.’ So he listened to it and liked what he heard. Even at that point in time, I think I would have been OK if he didn’t sing it as long as Merle Haggard tells you he likes what you’re doing.”

Church’s debut album, 2006’s Sinners Like Me, produced three singles on the Billboard country charts. They include the top 20 hits “How ‘Bout You”, “Two Pink Lines”, and “Guys Like Me.”