At one point during a recent day I spent with Eric Church while reporting a feature story on the country singer, Dwight Yoakam's "Honky Tonk Man" came on the radio in the van that was taking us to "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Church stopped talking to listen to the song, then threw out a bit of Yoakam trivia: The video for "Honky Tonk Man," he said with obvious respect, was the first country clip shown on MTV.
Now Church is putting his admiration into action.
The younger star announced Wednesday that he'll team with Yoakam for a North American arena tour this fall, a victory lap of sorts behind Church's album "The Outsiders," which debuted at No. 1 in February with sales of 288,000 copies -- the year's biggest sales week so far.
The trek is scheduled to launch Sept. 11 in Bossier City, La., and wrap Dec. 13 in Birmingham, Ala.; no Southland dates have been announced, though that's likely because Church is set to headline the Stagecoach festival in Indio on April 25.
Yoakam, who played Stagecoach last year in support of his excellent "3 Pears" album, will join Church for every show on the coming tour, but he won't be the only opener. The Brothers Osborne, Brandy Clark and the hard-rock band Halestorm are to appear on various dates as well.