Eric Church and woman posing for a picture
John Shearer/Getty Images

Eric Church Was Robbed Last Night

Welp, that’s that.

Another year, another colossal fuck up by the CMA Awards.

Yesterday we shared an article pleading our case for Eric Church’s Entertainer of the Year bid, and long story short… he didn’t win. He didn’t, but he should’ve. He was robbed.

Before we get into this Entertainer of the Year disaster though, and believe me we will, let’s talk Album of the Year.

I honestly thought this was a gimme. From the second the nominees were announced, I thought Eric had it in the bag. Just looking at the other nominees… Thomas Rhett, Dan + Shay, Carrie Underwood, and the eventual winner Maren Morris, how could he not? Yet once again, the CMA voters proved why they are absolutely clueless.

Maren Morris made a pop album. A decent one, but a pop album. Plain and simple. Sure, there were a few shining moments, but overall, the album was largely forgettable, not unlike many of the other nominees. Looking back through the album this morning, I didn’t even remember that Brandi Carlile was a featured collaborator. Are we going to look back in 10 years at this record and say to ourselves “damn that was a great country record”? My guess is probably not. I give her credit for co-writing all of the songs, I give her credit for using her time on stage to honor Busbee last night, and I give her credit for co-producing many of tracks on the album. There’s no doubt about it, Maren Morris is extremely talented, and I really dig her project with The Highwomen, but to call GIRL the best album in country music this past year is utterly insane to me. Not to mention, Desperate Man has sold more than three times as many records as GIRL did.

At the end of the day, Eric Church put together another incredible collection of songs, some of which he wrote completely alone, and yet somehow, despite songs like “Some Of It” and his current single “Monsters,” Eric went home empty-handed. Robbery. And yet, even in the face of said robbery, Eric couldn’t wait to hug and congratulate Maren on her victory. A class act through and through.

Now, on to this Entertainer of the Year fiasco…

Garth Brooks? Are you KIDDING ME? Are you FUCKING KIDDING ME?

If this is how it’s going to be, we need to change the title of Entertainer of the Year to “Biggest Attendance of the Year” because that’s all this is. Make no mistake, Garth is a living legend, and nobody can fill a stadium like he does, but that’s pretty much where it stops.

Garth hasn’t had a record since 2016. He just puts out the same “Greatest Hits” record every year, releases a corny song here or there that nobody can listen to unless they happen to hear it on the radio, and in all of 2018, he played a couple festivals and one show at Notre Dame that was a recorded TV special. If you were there, you know that he played the same songs over and over so they could get it “just right” for TV. That’s not entertaining, that’s just annoying.

So far this year, he’s played a few “dive bars” and 12 stadium shows in 9 different cities. He has another one this weekend in Knoxville and sure, they’re massive football stadiums, but if attendance is the only thing that matters for this category, let’s just come out and say that. Let’s not act like this is supposed to some all-encompassing award given to the artist that makes the biggest impact on country music as a whole, in all facets of the industry. Let’s cut the shit and call this what it is. It’s a touring award with the only criteria being attendance.

Eric put out a great album, tours his ass off, packs arenas, engages with his fans at every single show, and puts on a completely different set every single night.

Simply put, Eric was robbed. In a lot of ways, you could make the same case for Carrie as well, but without a doubt, Eric was robbed this year.

You and me both Marty. You and me both…

Click here to visit the Whiskey Riff Shop – The best hoodies, hats and tees for country music fans.

A person with a beard
Matt Overton and woman posing for a picture

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock