In the midst of Morgan Wallen’s 3-night stint at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, a hometown show of sorts for the Knoxville native, you just know that some famous faces are going to show up.
On night one, the one and only Ronnie Dunn stopped by to duet Brooks & Dunn’s iconic song, “Neon Moon.” Ronnie came out on stage midway through “Talkin’ Tennessee,” from Morgan’s 2018 debut album If I Know Me, and also sang a little bit of that with him.
Hardy, Ernest, Jimmie Allen and Larry Fleet all took the stage with Morgan for different songs, as well.
But then last night, it was time for Morgan’s hero, his mentor, his friend… the great Eric Church to make an appearance.
The crowd erupted as Eric walked on stage during the first chorus of “Quittin’ Time,” a song co-written by Eric Church himself and the final track from Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album.
Eric stuck around for a spirited performance of “Smoke A Little Smoke” as well.
Of course, Eric Church and Morgan Wallen have become pretty good friends over the past year or so.
Eric recently announced the second leg of his ‘One Hell of a Night’ stadium series, which will make a stop at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 11.
And not only will this one feature both Eric Church and Morgan Wallen, but they’ll also be joined by Morgan’s “Flower Shops” collaborator and Dangerous Tour opener, Ernest.
And then this past fall, Eric Church was headlining the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, except his band tested positive for COVID so he’s pretty much threw the whole show on his back and performed completely solo.
Most artists wouldn’t even entertain the idea, let alone pull it off…
But Eric had a little help, and brought out Morgan Wallen as a surprise guest for a few songs, closing out his time on stage with “Quittin’ Time.”
Wallen has noted many times how Church is one of his biggest inspirations.
With that being said, Wallen recently joined Country Countdown USA radio show alongside Lon Helton, and he went in-depth about how their friendship came about:
“I don’t exactly when it was we started hanging out, we went on a golf trip together and ended up fishing. But we started hanging out then, we just became buddies. I guess we kind of have a similar attitude or whatever it is.
I know he doesn’t publicly come out and have a lot of buddies, but he’s always been my country music hero… he’s one of the main reasons that I sing country music.”
He also talked about how Church inspired his songwriting:
“When I first started getting heavily into country music, it was his songwriting and the way he painted the pictures that made me want to do the same.
So it’s really cool to consider him an actual friend now. I’ve just always admired him. I saw him in Knoxville in 2014, a year before I moved here… There was something different about how he approached the whole thing and you could just feel how much it meant to him.
It’s unreal to me to think about that 20-year-old kid being so in tune with what he was doing, so fired up. It’s pretty crazy to think seven years later I’m up there on that same stage with him, and getting to share in those moments with him.
So I think he knows, I hope he knows how much that meant to me.”
Needless to say, the two’s friendship has skyrocketed.
Fishin’ (and perhaps golfing) in Jordans… gotta love it.