.

Eric Church, Luke Laird Are 'Hometown' Heroes

Nashville party honors co-writers of chart-topping 'Give Me Back My Hometown'

Luke Laird and Eric Church are honored at a Number One party in Nashville
Ed Rode for BMI
July 2, 2014 2:09 PM ET

Eric Church has heartache to thank for his latest Number One song. "Give Me Back My Hometown" waxes nostalgic on a city where every landmark is tarnished by memories of an ex.

Eric Church on Scalpers, Bro-Country & Blake Shelton

"I can always find that dark spot," Church tells Rolling Stone of the real-life inspiration for the lyrics. "You can always go back to that place and pull that pain back up."

The country star co-wrote the standout track from his latest album, The Outsiders, with Luke Laird, who now has 15 chart-topping tunes to his name. The keys to the country chart's penthouse for "Hometown" came at the perfect time for the lauded songwriter, as he needed to pay off a more literal set of keys.

"Eric has a cabin in North Carolina, and he has different writers from Nashville come out for a few days at a time to write with him there," Laird recalls. "So I was going out there in my old truck, and I got to Cookeville and my transmission started breaking down. I called my wife Beth and said, 'It's time for a new truck! Will you call the dealerships in Knoxville? I want a black F150.' So I drove right into a dealership and bought a truck. And I'm not an impulsive buyer, but I went in there and bought the truck and drove it to North Carolina. As soon as I got there, I told Eric, 'We have to write a single. I just bought a new truck!'"

That they did. After Church suggested writing a song about a soldier in the Civil War, the two somehow transitioned into talking about how certain places become territorial after a breakup. "I felt like when we wrote it, it was pretty unique and clever enough to be a really good country song, yet it's pretty simple and easy to grasp," says Laird.

The co-writers were honored Tuesday afternoon with a party at Nashville's BMI offices, where they were given plaques in the shapes of their own home states (North Carolina for Church, Pennsylvania for Laird) with engraved stars marking their hometowns. Church's proud parents, wife Katherine and 2-year-old son Boone were among the partygoers who listened to the songwriters' heartfelt (and humorous) speeches. Other speakers included Beth Laird (Creative Nation), Mike Dungan (UMG Nashville), Troy Tomlinson (Sony/ATV Music Publishing), Kent Earls (Universal Music Publishing) and Arturo Buenohora, Jr. (Little Louder Music).

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Music Main Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Around the Web
Powered By ZergNet
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com