Songs built around the lyrics or titles of other songs can often tilt toward the lazy. But Eric Church’s new “Hippie Radio,” off the just released album Desperate Man, finds a smart way to nod to gems of the past.
“My daddy had a Pontiac on the beiger side of yellow,” he sings, setting the scene of his days as a tyke, riding on the bench seat of his old man’s car and listening to staples like “Carry on Wayward Son.” Here, the songs aren’t the narrative, but rather mile markers in Church’s memory: listening to Kansas with his dad; to Warren Zevon and Billy Idol as a teen with his girlfriend; and later, as a father himself, living out the words to Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s in the Cradle.”
In a new video, the singer performs an acoustic version of “Hippie Radio,” stripping down the already bare-bones track (handclaps provide simple percussion on the studio version) to just a vocal and guitar.
After his successful Holdin’ My Own Tour, which saw the entertainer playing three-hour sets with no opening acts, Church launches his Double Down Tour in Omaha, Nebraska, in January, playing back-to-back shows in various cities. In Nashville, he performs a single concert — headlining the city’s Nissan Stadium on May 25th.