While waiting to take the stage at GNA's Countryfest back in 2012, Eric Church took inspiration from a NASCAR race on his tour bus television.

It's a song that features a southern racing icon in its title. But Eric Church's smash hit "Talladega" has roots right here in Upstate New York. In fact, its birthplace was on a side street next to the Times Union Center in Albany.

Back in July of 2012, Eric was in Albany headlining GNA's Countryfest at the TU, and as Country stars do, Eric had a guitar in hand as he was gearing up for the show on his tour bus. As the story goes according to ESPN, one of Eric's songwriting partners Luke Laird was hanging out with Eric on the bus and they were tossing around some song ideas while the NASCAR race was on the tour bus television. The conversation soon shifted to some of NASCAR's legendary tracks when Eric had the light bulb moment: He wanted to write a song called "Talladega" that wasn't necessarily about racing, but in Eric's words was "...about the emotional attachment that people have to a memory that involved going to a race." Eric and Laird got to writing right then and there and had most of the song completed before Church even took the stage at Countryfest that night.

How cool is it Eric wrote one of his all-time great songs in our backyard? And just like most Church tunes, it is not just any song. There is something about Eric's songs that strike a nerve, deep in your soul. They take you to places past and present with their imagery and heartfelt lyrics. Along with "Talladega," "Springsteen," "Hell Of A View," "Give Me Back My Hometown," and many more come to mind for me as just having that extra something special that brightens the canvas of my imagination and causes my heart to tick a beat faster. Maybe those same songs or some other Church cuts do it for you. And now that you know the story behind "Talladega" and its Albany roots, maybe it will make you appreciate your local roots and your own local canvas, even more, every time you hear it.

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