- CD1: 1. Ain't Killed Me Yet
- CD1: 2. Lotta Boot Left To Fill
- CD1: 3. Young And Wild
- CD1: 4. Where She Told Me To Go
- CD1: 5. Longer Gone
- CD1: 6. Love Your Love The Most
- CD1: 7. Smoke A Little Smoke
- CD1: 8. Without You Here
- CD1: 9. You Make It Look So Easy
- CD1: 10. Carolina
- CD1: 11. Hell On The Heart
- CD1: 12. Those I've Loved
- CD1: 13. My Heart's Got A Memory (Bonus Track)
- CD1: 14. Faster Than My Angels Can Fly (Bonus Track)
- CD1: 15. His Kind Of Money (My Kind Of Love) (Bonus Track)
Carolina, the sophomore album by Eric Church, is another collection of strikingly original songs and sounds. Reflecting the restlessly creative character of its maker, Carolina is even more musically diverse than its illustrious predecessor.
“I wanted Carolina to go to some different places,” said Church. “The first album was more aggressive and moody. This one is more diverse, more musical and a little brighter. I hope people can at least hear that we’re still taking chances.”
CAROLINA Track by Track
1. “Ain’t Killed Me Yet” (Eric Church/Deric Ruttan)
I think what I love most about this is the raw “attitinle” of it. Also, it reminds me of the Sinners like Me album. It sounds like it could have been a track on that CD. And that’s what I wanted. I wanted the firsttrack of the new record to remind people, “Hey, I’m still who I was.” I didn’t want people going, “Who is this guy?” I wanted those rabid fans who’ve been on the road with us all year to rip off the cellophane, stick it in the CD player and immediately go, “That’s our guy.”
2. “Lotta Boot Left to Fill” (Eric Church / Jeremy Spiliman)
This is an observation song. When you take pride in what you do, take pride in the record making process, work your butt off on the road and see things happen, and then you some “artists” treat this music with a lack of respect, it’s annoying. This song is an in-your-face manifesto. There’s a lot of testosterone in this one. More than I had on the first album. That’s not a gun. That’s a cannon. This is actually an older song of mine. It almost made the Sinners Like Me album. We’ve adapted it a little bit since then. The reality-TV Thing wasn’t that big, so we changed a verse or two around.
3. “Young and Wild” (Eric Church/Jeremy Spiliman)
This song was all about capturing a moment musically that would remind people of a time in their life that was more about reckless abandon than responsibility. We’ve all been there. If only we could live everyday like we were 18 again, wouldn’t we all?
4. “Where She Told Me to Go” (Eric Church / Casey Beathard)
I love it that we never say the word “hell” in it. To me, the brilliance of the song is that we never give it away. It’s just a great country song. I wanted to showcase that side of my writing. That’s why it is early on the record.
5. “Longer Gone” (Eric Church / Stephanie Chapman)
“Ain’t Killed Me Yet” says, “We’re still here.” But this one sets you up for a listening journey. You know at this point That you’re about to set sail for somewhere. This is where we start to take some chances. It’s almost African. It has that “ethnic” beat. To me, this is where we go into the Little Feat world, a little bit. It’s got a funk. It’s got a groove. And yet it is unmistakably country just by The subject matter. I love Stephanie Chapman, who I wrote this with. She’s one of my favorite young singer-songwriters. That’s her singing harmony.
6. “Love Your Love the Most” (Eric Church / Michael Heeney)
We were in Texas. We’d done a show, and you can tell by listening to this that we’d played a honky-tonk. That night, we looked out on the parking lot, and everyone was in their four-by-four pickup trucks. There’s a cold-beer line in there. There’s a Redman line. There’s a George Strait line in there, too. Cowboy boots. Jack Daniels and Coke. To me, the song is just fun. It’s a memory for me, too, because I’ll always remember writing it and where we were and what it was.
7. 'Smoke a Little Smoke”(EricChurch/Jeff Hyde/Driver Williams)
Coolest song I’ve ever cut. Period.
8. “Without You Here” (Eric Church / Jeremy Spiliman / Brandon Church)
I worked this one out with my brother, Brandon. We started writing on the road one night. Actually, the little part I had in my head was, “If these boots could fit a railroad track, I’d be gone and never look back.” I had that in my head. All of a sudden, it was just there that night. I was kind of bobbing my head and singing, and we started writing the song. Then I took it to Jeremy, which I do a lot. Great writer. And we wrote it. The reason Brandon was on the road with me was because he was our merchandise salesman. He’s back home in North Carolina now working as a chef. He calls me twice a week and says, “Hey, man, that would be a great second single.”
9. “You Make it Look So Easy” (Eric Church)
That’s the song I wrote for my wedding. My wife Katherine didn’t know I was writing something for the wedding and neither did I. I hate love songs. I have a hard time with them. I think they’ve been done so many times, and I hate stuff that’s just your clichés. I thought, “There’s got to be another way to do this.” I decided that the best way was to just be honest. There’s a “drink too much” line in there. That’s honest. At the wedding is the first time Katherine really heard the whole thing. She cried. Everybody cried. That’s me baring my soul, there.
10. “Carolina” (Eric Chiurch)
We put “You Make it Look So Easy” and “Carolina” together on purpose. Those are the two songs that are just me, by myself. “Carolina” is my favorite track that I have ever cut. I just love the haunting quality it has. And it’s real. There is a cabin, and the Elk River is real. When I sing that song, I am transported every night. The song really kind of set the tone for the whole record. We recorded it at our first session for this album. It is about North Carolina, but it’s really about anybody’s home. It’s a “heartbeat” song.
8. “Hell on the Heart” (Eric Church / Jeremy Spillman)
I listen to all kinds of songs. I’ll actually do a “study” of an artist. I’ll get everything that Muddy Waters ever did and listen to it. Or Clarence Gatemouth Brown. Or the Dead. Or whoever. I’ll just put it all on. And I get totally absorbed in it. I love music, so I look around everywhere. When I wrote this, I was into pop music, and I was listening to a lot of Maroon 5. So I really got into it being like an unabashed pop hit. The guitar lick is a “hook.” The bass is a “hook.” The drum is a “hook.” Everything’s a “hook.” I had the chorus, and I took it to Jeremy. I played it for him, and he said, “That’s good.”
10. “Those I’ve Loved” (Eric Church / Brett Beavers) This is last, because it is a special song. It’s one of the better songs I’ve ever had a hand in. This and “Carolina” are the two songs on this record that I feel a real emotional attachment to whenever I play them. No matter how many times I play it, it comes from the heart. I’ve been on that curb. I’ve been picked up from school when a relative passes away. I have had that girl, that relationship. I was even engaged, so I know what it feels like when you separate. But it’s all those people who have given me these songs. If I didn’t have those emotions, if I didn’t have the ability to reach down inside where I draw those lyrics from, what would I be? That’s why at the end, I brought it to a real personal place, being a songwriter.