The Marty Smith Podcast: Jordan Davis Talks About Eric Church ‘Taking Risks’ and His Influence on Modern Country Artists

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

We’re huge fans of “The Chief” here at Outsider and on The Marty Smith Podcast. Eric Church comes up often on the show, especially since he’s one of our host’s favorite country musicians of all-time.

The “Springsteen” singer is often imitated, and has been a leader within the country music industry doing things his own way since the beginning. Eric Church is an outsider himself, someone who walks to the beat of his own drum. And that’s something that both Marty Smith and his guest this week, country star Jordan Davis, both respect and admire about the musician from North Carolina.

During their conversation on the podcast this week, Marty and Jordan spoke at length about the Louisiana native’s rise to stardom in Nashville. They talked about his years of songwriting while bartending to pay the bills after moving to Music City. These days though, Jordan is writing music with some of the biggest songwriters in town and touring with some of the biggest acts in country music.

Yet like any other country artist, he was influenced by many of the musicians that preceded him. And Eric Church is one of the key artists at the top of that list. Host Marty Smith asked about the artists in Nashville these days that are taking risks. For Jordan Davis, “The Chief” fits that bill to a T.

“One of my main artists is Eric Church,” Jordan said on The Marty Smith Podcast. “Eric Church from day one has been the outsider, man. He’s the guy I feel like kinda had a chip on his shoulder from day one. And he just did it his way, and it worked out.”

Jordan Davis Calls Eric Church a ‘Trailblazer,’ Says Artists ‘Strive’ to Follow His Career Path

Marty Smith’s conversation continued with guest Jordan Davis, but our host wasn’t ready to stop talking about “The Chief.” Jordan went on to call him a “trailblazer” within “this new age of [country music] artists that are kind of following in that [Eric] Church mode.”

Our host couldn’t help but agree, especially since so many younger country artists name drop Eric Church. From up-and-coming artists to well-established country stars, they all point back to Church’s music and his influence on the genre.

“Everyone of you young guys is like, ‘Man, Eric Church is god.’ I mean, Thomas Rhett is singin’ about it. Morgan [Wallen] is singin’ about it. Luke [Combs] is singin’ about it,” Marty Smith said. “And Eric is aware of that, he’s aware that all you guys hold him in that unbelievable esteem, and you damn sure should. I mean he’s the greatest of all-time.”

“I think every artist kinda strives to have that career path,” Jordan Davis said to The Marty Smith Podcast host. “It probably wasn’t easy at all. I mean I saw Eric Church in 2007 at the Varsity Theatre in Baton Rouge, and it was half full. That was 2007, and now, he’s The Chief.”

“It was the same Eric Church in 2007 that it is today,” Jordan continued. “That’s hard to do. A lot of times I feel like there’s things that want to change you. Or you think you’re doing something that your fans don’t want you to do instead of just trusting your gut and goin’ with your heart and bein’ like, ‘No, this is who I am as an artist and I’m gonna stick with it.’ And Church is the guy that did that better than anybody.”

Host Marty Smith and country star Jordan Davis talk more about Eric Church along with many other topics on the newest episode of the show. Make sure to check out their full conversation on The Marty Smith Podcast in the video above, or listen on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you stream your favorite podcasts.