Songwriter Shares 'Epic Story' Behind Eric Church Anthem

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Country songwriter and producer Luke Laird shared his “epic story” behind Eric Church’s “Give Me Back My Hometown.”

Laird appeared on a recent episode of God’s Country, speaking with hosts Dan and Reid Isbell about the day he traveled to North Carolina to write music with Church. Laird said h needed a new truck at that time, and after enduring transmission issues on the interstate, he would have to buy one sooner than he’d planned.

“We wrote that [‘Give Me Back My Hometown’] out in North Carolina,” Laird said in a clip shared from the podcast. “I had my old Nissan Frontier, and it was starting to have some issues. But my wife — we were talking about maybe I could get a new truck. I’d had that one for 10 years, and I just wanted a black F-150 Classic. She’s like, ‘yeah, when you get back from the write with Eric, let’s go look,’ and I call her on the way and said, ‘yeah, I’m thinking about the truck.’ She said ‘yeah, when you get back —‘ I’m like, ‘no, I think I need one now.’ …I was having transmission issues. I was like, I’m not gonna make it to North Carolina. I literally needed to buy a truck that day. She goes, ‘here’s two dealerships in Knoxville. I think this one has the truck you want.’ I was like, ‘perfect.’ So, I get there and this guy standing out in the rain, I pull up (and) I said ‘my wife called.’ …take everything into the new truck, and I’m heading to see Eric Church in a brand new truck. I pull up to his cabin, he comes out, he’s like, ‘man, nice truck. When’d you get that?’ I was like, ‘a couple hours ago.’ …I said, ‘yeah, I did just buy it. We really need to write a single.’ So, I kind of put the pressure on him. …Then the next day, we wrote that song.”

“Luckily for him, the song they wrote on that trip ended up being a Grammy-nominated track,” the Isbell brothers noted in the podcast episode description. Laird’s website lists other artists he’s written songs for throughout his career, including Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, Little Big Town, Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, Thomas Rhett, Sam Hunt and others.

Dan and Reid — who have written music for Luke CombsMiranda LambertScotty McCreeryJon PardiLainey Wilson and others — started their weekly podcast this year. Guests appearing on the show so far include HARDYDustin LynchColbie Caillat and others.

“One of our favorite things about country music has always been how intertwined it is with the outdoors,” Dan and Reid Isbell said in a statement when God’s Country launched. They hope to “bring the outdoor enthusiast or country music lover an up close and personal look into the minds of some of the best songwriters and artists of the genre — a place where they can be honest about struggles, relationships, their connection to the outdoors, the music business, family, whatever they feel comfortable talking about. We can’t wait to see where this partnership will lead and who this podcast will reach.”

The iHeartPodcasts/MeatEater show is available anywhere you listen to podcasts, including in the iHeartRadio app. Select country stations will broadcast the show between 7-11:30 p.m. local time on Sunday evenings. Find God's Country here.

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