Eric Church Softens His Rock Edge With His Gentle, Gratitude-Filled ‘Doing Life With Me’ [Listen]
Until now, the songs Eric Church has chosen to release as singles off his Heart & Soul triple album have leaned heavily toward the "rock" half of his signature country-rock sound. But in his newest single, "Doing Life With Me," Church both slows down the tempo and brings acoustic country instrumentation to the forefront of his song's sonic landscape.
"Doing Life With Me" is a tender, autobiographical ballad about the pitfalls of loving a road dog like him, and offers his thanks to those who choose to do it anyway. For Church, that's his wife Katherine Blasingame, whom he married in 2008, and their two children: 10-year-old Boone McCoy and 7-year-old Tennessee Hawkins.
Church doesn't specifically name his family members in the song, instead highlighting the moments of his story that are the most relatable to his listeners. Not everyone is a country superstar, but a lot of people can relate to feeling lucky that they never screwed up a great relationship, or grateful that their family members have stuck with them through difficult times.
The song's title, and some of its lyrics, would make it a particularly meaningful message to those who are incarcerated, for example, and unable to see their families.
"She carried my burdens and paid my bill," Church sings in one line. "The ups and the downs of the judge's gavel / How'd you wind up in my unravel?" he sings in another.
Heart & Soul produced three singles prior to "Doing Life With Me," including two searing up-tempo rockers, "Stick That in Your Country Song" and "Heart on Fire." His newest single is the closest thing off the album Church has released so far to a country ballad: Even the introspective "Hell of a View" is more Tom Petty-informed, mid-tempo country rock.
"Doing Life With Me" gets its country flair not only from the personal subject matter and emphasis on storytelling, but also from its prominent mandolin line, which comes courtesy of Charlie Worsham — a singer-songwriter and member of Dierks Bentley's touring band.
Heart & Soul came out as three separate projects, spread across a period of days in April 2020. Heart arrived on April 16; Soul on April 23, and in the middle, & came out as a vinyl exclusive available only to members of Church's fan club, the Church Choir. It includes six songs, one of which is "Doing Life With Me."
Eric Church's "Doing Life With Me" Lyrics:
It ain't easy puttin' up with / A road dog with a cup with / A little Jack in it / You talk about the backseat / I don't know, don't ask me / How she sat in it
She carried my burdens and paid my bail / Put a Tennessee breeze in my Carolina sail / And set me free
I don't pray much anymore / For this old troubadour's / Happiness, wishes, wants and needs / End of my ropes, hopes and dreams / Spend my livin' givin' thanks / For the ships I never sank / Every big, every little in the everyday things / The notes and the words and the songs I sing / To the ones doing life with me
Could've easily said goodbye to / This runaway train you're tied to / I know I don't get it / Baby, how you roll with it
The fists and the fights and the scars of the battle / The ups and the downs of the judge's gavel / How'd you wind up in my unravel?
You're my faith in the grace / Every sunrise brings / Set me free