Rolling Stone - p.1243.5 stars out of 5
-- "This nasally North Carolinian's debut could be the literary country album of the year."
Personnel: Eric Church (vocals); Merle Haggard (vocals); Jay Joyce (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, keyboards, bass guitar); Bryan Sutton (acoustic guitar, banjo, mandolin); Kenny Greenberg (electric guitar); Mark Hill (bass instrument); Craig Wright (drums, cajon drums).
With song like "These Boots" and "Pledge Allegiance To The Hag," Eric Church clearly aligns himself with the honky-tonk Bakersfield Sound school of country music, and his rustic twang of a voice is similarly pure country. There are several commercial Nashville touches to this debut as well, like the hip-hop-inspired drum loop that powers the opening track "Before She Does" and the Big 'N' Rich country-rock of the first single "How 'Bout You." Overall, however, Church's heart is in the roadhouse, not the strip mall.