Joe Pugliese Eric Church decided to shake things up when he set out to record the follow-up to 2018's Desperate Man. The North Carolina native took a totally revolutionary approach, sequestering producer Jay Joyce and his musicians...

Eric Church unearths ‘Heart & Soul’ at a fancy restaurant in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Joe Pugliese

Eric Church decided to shake things up when he set out to record the follow-up to 2018's Desperate Man.

The North Carolina native took a totally revolutionary approach, sequestering producer Jay Joyce and his musicians in the Blue Ridge Mountains of his home state in January of 2020.

But Eric didn't take them to a studio. Instead, he picked an unexpected location: Artisanal restaurant in Banner Elk, NC. A favorite dining spot for the Chief, he'd long admired the acoustics of the building, which was built out of reclaimed barn wood, he tells Entertainment Weekly

From there, the three-part Heart & Soul started to take shape.

"You know what I found is [that] there’s something about doing something different -- that there’s a belief there," the CMA Entertainer of the Year explains. "Every night we would eat together. Every morning we would be together... The players, the songwriters, they all respected what I was trying to do."

"I was honest with them," he continues. "I said 'Hey, I may bring in a song, this song may suck. But I wrote it today. I've not slept. Give me a break.'"

Eric's honesty paved the way for his team's dedication.

"I think at some point in time, they committed themselves to what we were trying to do and they gave a hundred and ten percent of that," he reflects. "They knew, 'This dude has been up all night. This dude is trying and we’re gonna try, too.'"

"And I think that there’s something to that overall -- pulling on the rope the same way -- that made the project what it is," he asserts.

Eric unveils the collection titled Heart on Friday, April 16, followed by the fan-club-exclusive & set the following Tuesday, before wrapping with Soul on the 23rd.

By Stephen Hubbard 
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