Of course, he gets back to western North Carolina pretty often since he has a second home in the mountains, and it’s a large part of the reason he turned a local restaurant in Banner Elk into his own personal studio to record Heart & Soul to begin with.
During the show Saturday night, he played a handful of songs from deep in the vault, even whipping out his fantastic and supremely underrated cover of “Chevy Van” at the end with just his acoustic guitar.
It got me thinking about how many incredible deep cuts he has in his catalog, which I actually think about more than I probably should… I could list about 30 right off the top of my head right now.
And one of them is “Before She Does,” from his 2006 debut album Sinners Like Me. The lyrics are just as relevant today as they were over 15 years ago, and it’s one of those songs that I fall in love with all over again every time I hear it.
I know it’s more of a “list song,” and those are typically frowned upon in the songwriting community… but it might be one of the best list songs you’ll ever hear.
Written by Eric along with Jeremy Spillman and Trent Willmon, the opening verse sounds like it could’ve been written yesterday, unfortunately:
“I believe that gas is too damn high Ain’t nothin’ more American than mama’s apple pie I believe in love, I believe in peace But I don’t believe we’ll ever see it in that Middle East I believe the Bible is cold, hard fact And I believe that Jesus is comin’ back ‘Fore she does.”
It’s funny because it’s true, and honestly, with everything that’s going on in the world right now, Jesus comin’ back before that girl who left Eric 15 years ago might not be such a bad thing (I’ve probably seen too many of the articles my Uncle’s shared on Facebook, but you get the sentiment).
The whole concept of the track is genius in and of itself, and the upbeat production just makes it so easy to jam along to.
I’d love to get the full story about the inspiration for it from Eric one day, because the lyrics make it easy to believe that there’s a really good one behind it, similar to how he got the idea for his other underrated deep cut “Leave My Willie Alone”.
While “Before She Does” was never released as a single, it’s the first song on that tracklist for a reason, and every country music fan should know it… because to know it is to absolutely love it: