Sunday, June 14, 2009

Review: Eric Church at Country In the Woods

"Give me a crowd that's redneck and loud," Eric Church demands on "How 'Bout You".

He didn't get it Sunday at Country In the Woods. Only a small percentage of men at the free concert could relate to lines like "my best blue jeans have Skoal rings" in "Guys Like Me". The sedate, family-oriented crowd was worlds removed from the honky tonks where Church's music rings truest.

So when Church suggested that the audience of about 1,500 "Pledge Allegiance To the Hag", he didn't find many takers.

Church was opening for Emerson Drive. I have a weakness for their big hit "Moments", but it frustrates me that softer-edged artists of their ilk are favored by the country music establishment while new proponents of the outlaw tradition continue to struggle. The alt-country crowd doesn't offer much support, either. They don't dig Church's irony-free patriotism and proud religious faith.

Don't worry, Eric. Sinners like me intend to stick with you.

What a weekend! I saw Rancid, the Riverboat Gamblers and Rise Against on Friday (I concur with this assessment), Summer Jam on Saturday (here's my review) and Church's show.

Kansas City Click: The Blue Room hosts a jam session every Monday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

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