“Reverend Jack Daniels” – Eric Church Recalls Writing A “Wonderful” Song With Toby Keith Way Back In 2011

Toby Keith Eric Church

Separately, Toby Keith and Eric Church are renowned as two of the most authentic country artists to ever take the stage. And together? They were even better, and apparently followed through on some outlandish song ideas.

In 2011, Church went on the road with Toby Keith on his famous Locked and Loaded Tour, and it was while they were together on that tour that they took a couple of opportunities to collaborate. During a radio interview not too long afterwards, Church spoke on how the duo’s songwriting sessions went.

But not before the radio hosts could play a snippet from a Toby Keith interview they had recorded sometime before, where they asked the “Big Dog Daddy” what he though about Eric Church, and the late great Keith answered with this:

“All I need to tell you about his direction and whether me and him were gonna fit as friends or as anything else is (that) we co-wrote a song the other day. He brought the idea, he goes ‘We need to write a song,’ and I said ‘Okay.’

He brings the idea in and it’s ‘Reverend Jack Daniels and the Congregation of the Chemically Altered Mind.’ So then we wrote it, and it actually turned out to be wonderful. But you knew what you were dealing with right there.”

Keith apparently knew early on that he and Church were going to mesh well together, and certainly well enough to crank out that mouthful of a song title. As the interview rolled on, Church revealed that they ended up getting the “Reverend Jack Daniels” song worked out, and even wrote another one that Toby forgot to mention.

The “Chief” was apprehensive to approach Keith with such an intricate song title, but said in the interview that he had confidence in the name and thought it was worth a shot throwing it out in front of Toby:

“I just thought that…it’s a title that I’d had, and when you’re out there and you see Toby’s show. It’s one of those titles that I was hoping he would get through all of it because it’s not the easiest one to remember, you know?

But I love stuff like that. I love stuff that’s kind of out there and on the fringes. It’s a great song, and we had a great time writing it. We’ll see if it ends up on one of our records.”

Church went on to say that it was a huge step to “bare his soul” with the song idea, but knew that the worst thing that could happen was that he’d get shot down by Toby Keith. And all things considered, even being shot down by the “Big Dog Daddy” would be a cool experience as an artist.

Eric revealed that one of the lines early on in the song was “Praise the Lord and pass the copperhead,” and when he revealed that to Keith, the seasoned songwriter said “that’s thick,” and later told Church that they should go for writing it. The two apparently had a great time putting the song together, as Church talked more about in the interview below:

Now we just need to hear the actual song. Seems like an “In Memoriam” release of it would be tasteful, at least in due time.

Church also talked about how effortlessly talented Toby Keith was in the interview above, and perfectly described the “Big Dog Daddy’s” songwriting and work as a whole with this thoughtful quote:

“He has a great inner direction. He has a great compass as a songwriter of the kind of artist he is and the kind of songs that are going to relate to his fanbase that’ll be authentic to who he is.

Toby’s never going to sing something and you go ‘Well that could be these other people.’ It’s a Toby Keith song. I think that authenticity is what his fans really gravitate to.”

Hit the nail right on the head. What Church said right there was true until the very end, and Keith’s music will forever continue to resonate with his current and even his future fans that have yet to dive into his country music catalogue.

RIP Toby Keith.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock