Country Throwback: Watch Eric Church Cover Garth Brooks’ ‘We Shall Be Free’ During College Audition

by Will Shepard
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Eric Church in the late 1990s covered Garth Brooks’ song “We Shall Be Free” in a college audition. While at school at Appalachian State University, Church’s career had yet to kickstart, but since then, it has taken off.

Church is dressed in jeans, tan dress shoes, and a retro striped, long sleeve polo shirt. This video might be the first music video that he’s in.

During the performance, he is visibly nervous. As he sings, he has to look down at a sheet of paper, presumably with the lyrics written on it.

Church stands on stage and begins to sing with his classic country twang, he seems tense and focused on hitting every note correctly.

Eric Church sings throughout the video, and his outfit clearly differentiates the two performers.

As he progresses through the song, dispersed throughout the video, he looseness up and sings with more passion. Once Church hits the chorus, he bursts completely out of his shell, and the song takes on its own life.

“When I close my eyes I see, the way this world shall be / When we all walk hand in hand / When the last child cries, for a crust of bread / When the last man dies, for just words that he said / When there’s shelter over, the poorest head / We shall be free.”

Eric Church Found Success in Music

Church was in a college band and often performed with them at this venue, but it wasn’t until 2006 that he made it big. Since this performance, he has performed 549 times all across the country and the world.

After graduating, Church pursued music professionally almost immediately. In 2005, Church signed with Capitol Nashville, and his first album alone had three top 20 Billboard country hits. Those songs included “How ‘Bout You,” “Two Pink Lines,” and “Guys Like Me.”

Today, Church boasts 17 top ten Billboard hits with two number one hits. It’s safe to say that he has progressed a lot since his days at Appalachian State University.

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