I mean hell, on the new Heart album, he went full Meat Loaf.
A wide ranging repertoire like that can only come from a love and appreciation of many genres and generations of musicians. Eric has openly talked about the greater influence rock music had on him despite country music being ever-present in the town where he grew up.
It’s a time honored tradition for musicians to reference artists that had a big influence on them throughout their lives, and Eric is no exception. Of course he’s got some of the typical country music namedrops, like Hank, Waylon and Willie, but he tips the cap quite a few times to non-country artists.
Here’s the list of non-country artists referenced by Eric Church throughout his catalog.
Note: If the artist was not explicitly named in the song, I included the lyrics referencing them or their song
Aretha Franklin – “Bad Mother Trucker”
“…taught me how to spell R-E-S-P-E-C-T”
Billy Idol – “Hippie Radio”
“It was White Wedding and Rebel Yell on the hippie radio”
Bruce Springsteen – “Springsteen”
Don Mclean – “Heart On Fire” & “Like Jesus Does”
“Heart On Fire” – “Couldn’t make out any words but “take me to the levee” “Like Jesus Does” – “I’m a good old boy, drinking whiskey and rye on the levee”
Elvis Costello – “Mr. Misunderstood”
Elvis Presley – “Heart On Fire” & “That’s Damn Rock and Roll”
“That’s Damn Rock and Roll” – “It’s a hip shaking devil on the stage in Tupelo”
George Thorogood – “Record Year”
“One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer, I’m having a record year”
Guns N’ Roses – “Heart On Fire”
“Hat turned backward singin’ “Paradise City”
Harry Chapin – “Hippie Radio”
“Cat’s in the cradle and the silver spoon on the hippie radio”