Eric Church isn't nominated at the 2018 CMA Awards, but that didn't keep him out of the performance lineup for Country Music's Biggest Night. The country star took the stage on Wednesday night (Nov. 14) to perform "Desperate Man," the title track of his newest album.

Church performed the referential-- and reverential-- ode to classic rock with class. Gravelly background vocals elevated his impassioned performance while swirling piano keys and tension-building drums made way for the star to shine in the chorus. The performance was high-energy and felt like something straight out of the '70s.

Bluesy and anthemic, "Desperate Man" was co-written by Texas outlaw singer-songwriter Ray Wylie Hubbard. The song is the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil" meets his own "Chattanooga Lucy." "Fortune teller told me / 'No more last chances / You've got no future at all' / Oh, but I ain't listenin' / Black-hearted gypsy," Church sings in the second verse of "Desperate Man."

The chorus is swampy and pure Southern rock, but simple: "But, hey, what can I say? / I'm a desperate man / I said hey, what can I say? / I'm just a desperate man." The "Desperate Man" music video features Church as a musical fugitive, on the run from his record label as he's trying to get his music out to fans.

Church released his sixth studio release, Desperate Man, this past October. Desperate Man was produced by Jay Joyce; the two have a long history of collaborating on Church's studio albums. In 2019, Church will begin his Double Down Tour in support of Desperate Man; the tour will stop in 18 cities for two nights each, plus one stadium show in Nashville.

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