On March 16, 2016, country stars packed Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena to honor the legendary Kris Kristofferson during the Life & Songs of Kris Kristofferson concert.
On the bill that evening was Eric Church.
When the “Homeboy” singer got up to perform, he told an emotional story about the time when he wanted to give up and go home after struggling with what seemed to be a dead end music career.
“Like a lot of people that get told ‘no’ a lot. I played that game where, if I got told ‘no’ one more time, ‘I’m outta here. I’m packing up. I’m going back to North Carolina,” said Eric.
He then said that when he went in for a meeting to land publishing deal, the man told him the words he never wanted to hear.
“He goes, ‘I don’t know where you’re from, I don’t know much about you, but I’d go back there,’” said Eric.
Channeling 1970s “To Beat the Devil,” it was that song that changed everything.
Eric said when he left that meeting, The Austin Sessions on CD was in his car and the next song was “To Beat the Devil.”
“It talked about the very thing that I was going through,” he said.
Needless to say, all eyes and ears were on Eric as he played the song, which highlights a down-and-out musician who just wants someone to listen.
This time, everybody listened.