Playing an entire set of songs from his critically acclaimed latest album Mr. Misunderstood to a stadium full of country fans at CMA Music Fest early Friday night apparently wasn’t enough for Eric Church. In the wee hours, the Chief took to a tiny stage at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop on Nashville’s Lower Broadway to sit in with Charlie Worsham, the host of a special three-night Midnight Jamboree.
Church posted the ambling performance to his Facebook page with a note reading: “Sometimes CMA Fest brings the unexpected, and a 1AM jam with Charlie Worsham in a 130F degree room is right up there.”
Backed by Worsham and his tight band, Church sang a pair of covers: Merle Haggard’s “Heaven Was a Drink of Wine” and the Band’s classic “Ophelia.”
Singing songs by the Band at late-night gigs during CMA Fest is becoming something of a tradition for Church, who performed “The Weight” at Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam last year, along with Chris Stapleton and members of Little Big Town.
Along with Church, Worsham also welcomed surprise guest Brandy Clark, who sang Buck Owens’ “Together Again” and “Daughter,” off her new album Big Day in a Small Town. A gleeful Worsham posted clips online of he and his famous friends performing onstage, and police controlling the crowd outside. “This is exactly what we dreamed about when we put this together.”
Worsham’s Midnight Jam continued tonight in Nashville, but at a different, more modern venue down the block to accommodate the overflow crowd and, most importantly, provide adequate air conditioning in the near 100-degree temperatures.