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Album Review – Eric Church ‘Caught In The Act’

EMI Records

I am a huge fan of Eric Church’s music.  I’m even a bigger fan of Eric Church’s live show, so the fact that he has a live album is enough to make me jump to my feet.  It really did make me jump up when I realized this album was in the voting for Album of the Year at the CMA’s.

Let me first just say, ‘How did I miss this album being released?’  I seriously should have been at Walmart at midnight when it came out, but instead, I realized it was out as I was doing my duty as a CMA member and voting for the second round of nominations.  Luckily, when you are a member, you sometimes get little trinkets to encourage you to vote, and one of those trinkets was Eric Church ‘Caught In The Act,’ a great way to experience Eric Church live in concert from your own car.

This album takes you on the same ride as a Church show.  The show that was recorded at the Tivoli Theatre in Chattanooga, Tennessee takes you from the big hits like ‘Drink In My Hand’ and ‘Creepin” to the underground album cuts that fans love like ‘I’m Gettin’ Stoned’ and ‘Pledge Allegiance to The Hag.’  The entire ride features Eric feeling the music.  You can hear it in his voice.  The man LOVES what he does, and the fans love what he does too!

During rockers like ‘Country Music Jesus’ and ‘Keep On,’ I found myself fist pumping and singing along just like I was at the show.  I listened intently to my favorite Church tune, ‘Sinners Like Me’ as he played it, just he and his guitar.  I liked that it felt like the actual progression of the show, and not just a bunch of live songs pieced together.  That continued right up until the encore songs with ‘These Boots’ followed by ‘Springsteen.’  At the end, you can hear in Church’s voice, as he thanks Chattanooga, how much he enjoyed playing this show (and every show).

The only thing that might have made this CD better is to record it in a bigger venue.  Playing the small theater just doesn’t give the same crowd effects as a large arena like the sold out Ford Center.  I also would like to hear more of Church’s early singles, but I can deal with hearing them sprinkled in with most of the cuts from Chief, as it’s his best to date.  I’m glad I finally got this CD and without a doubt it should be a nominee and a winner at this year’s CMA awards!

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