Since Eric Church released his new song “Desperate Man” earlier this July, the singer-songwriter has begun working it into his live shows. Last week, Church played a headlining concert at the Cheyenne Frontier Days rodeo in Wyoming that included a blistering take on the single.
With a vocal assist from the superlative Joanna Cotten on those backing “ooh oohs,” Church maintains the rhythmic revival quality of the studio version. But he bares his teeth when it comes to the bridge, stomping the stage while spitting out: “I’m a half-cocked, full-tilt / scarred hands to the hilt / don’t push me, grown-ass man.” It’s Church at his most defiant – and transfixing – manipulating the tension within the crowd until the relief of the chorus.
Church appears on the August issue of Rolling Stone, in which he gives a candid interview about the conflicting emotions that helped form the upcoming Desperate Man album and opens up about a near-fatal health scare last year. He also wades into politics, sharing his thoughts on the influence of lobbyists in Washington.
“Some of this stuff you look at and go, ‘What the fuck? Why is this hard?’ ” Church says. “Why can we not get infrastructure done? Why don’t we do more clean energy? Why are [prescription] drugs so expensive? Because it’s a lobbyist-based system. It’s a money-based system. Either way, we’re fucked.”
Desperate Man arrives October 5th. Church will perform two shows in Canada this weekend, before heading to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota on August 8th.