Danielle Anderson
December 15, 2010 12:00 PM

Eric Church was relaxing on his tour bus after a 2008 show when guitar player Driver Williams walked onboard. “What’s the rest of your evening look like?” Church asked him. Williams’ reply? “I’m just going to drink a little drink and smoke a little smoke.”

Suddenly the football game Church had been watching no longer held his attention. “I wanted to lie there and watch the game, but I kept hearing those words in my head,” recalls Church, 33. “The longer I stayed there, I thought, ‘Turn the quiet up, turn the noise down…’ I didn’t know what it was, but I knew it was interesting.”

So interesting he grabbed a guitar and asked Williams and bandmate Jeff Hyde to sit down with him and see where it led. Less than 30 minutes later, “Smoke” was born. It’s an anthem to “escapism,” says Church. “It’s about getting away from your life and everything that’s going on in your world. It’s a party song.”

Putting the song on his second album, Carolina, was a no-brainer but getting the song released as a single took some doing. “I don’t think I would’ve thought, ‘Hey, let’s release a song called “Smoke a Little Smoke” to radio,’ ” says Church. “But fans would tear down the walls when we played it at a show. I kept telling the label that they had to see how people were reacting. People from all walks of life were telling me it was their favorite song on the album.”

It may be Church’s favorite as well. “The line ‘kick back, give the blues a spin, break out the wine and forget again,’ that’s very personal,” says Church. “To me there’s nothing better on a Sunday evening than a glass of wine, turning the blues on and sitting back in a rocking chair.”

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