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Eric Church: Traditional Country with Depth

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Eric Church.

Granite Falls, N.C., isn't known for its music scene, but that didn't discourage singer/songwriter Eric Church. Drawing on a familiar host of traditional country influences — including Merle Haggard and John Prine — Church's powerful songs sound at once familiar and new. Influenced by his parents' eclectic musical tastes, Church began writing songs at 13. After graduating from Appalachian State University, he moved to Nashville to pursue a musical career, which took off when he signed a publishing deal and sold his first song, "The World Needs a Drink."

On his debut album, Sinners Like Me, Church plants his feet in traditional-country territory, but his depth and ambition remain a constant. His thoughtful lyrics — delivered in a rough baritone voice — help make the record stick.

Copyright NPR 2016.

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