Country superstar Eric Church and Halestorm’s Lzzy Hale brought a rock show to the CMT Awards in June 2014, during a performance that Billboard labeled as “one of the highlights of the evening.”
Church and Hale performed the rockin’ country tune “That’s Damn Rock & Roll,” which appeared on Church’s 2014 album, The Outsiders. In the song lyrics Church name drops Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Nirvana, as the songs lyrics give a portrayal of what people think rock’n roll is about while explaining that it is not all about drugs, sex and alcohol.
“I think it’s an opportunity to do one thing that you’re not normally going to do and you let it live in that space forever,” Church told FOX News ahead of his performance on the CMT Awards show describing his decision to perform an album track rather than a single. “That’s what I like about them. You can do it one time and it will get the maximum amount of eyes and it will live as that one show’s performance forever. It makes sense to do something different.”
Hale then told Fox News, “Honestly I think that the industry overall–the rock industry, country, whatever genre you take a fancy to–I think it needs more people like [Church]. It needs more people taking risks and being, for lack of a better term, a badass and not necessarily going straight by the rules.”
The hard-rockin’ country performance garnered a massive standing ovation showcasing that rock is alive and well even in the country fandom.
“That’s Damn Rock & Roll” was written by Church alongside Casey Beathard and Michael P. Heeney.
The pair also performed the song again a few days later at LP Field in Nashville, TN during CMA Fest in 2014. You can also watch that performance below:
Halestorm also served as Eric Church’s direct support act on his Outsiders Tour in 2014.