Eric Church makes country music for wistful listeners who might not fit the country mold.
The title track off of his 2015 record "Mr. Misunderstood" is about an artistic coming of age in heartland America, about being a loner who's into Ray Wylie Hubbard and Elvis Costello, about getting into gin and Jackson Pollock. Church has a nice way of getting at how music and nostalgia are all mixed together, how singers and songs hold memories. Listen to his "Springsteen" for a riff on listening and longing and lost youth. It's a theme that runs through many of his songs, like "Give Me Back My Hometown."
Church has mostly resisted the trend of making his songs dance-ready half-hip-hop pop. He's more into the attitude of rock 'n' roll, transgression and a little sin. In the tradition of Willie Nelson, Church has a few tunes that celebrate the pleasures — sometimes tinged with sadness — of marijuana, not a standard country music theme but one that's become increasingly more common. People love him.
Eric Church plays two shows at Mohegan Sun Arena, 1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, Thursday and Friday, April 27 and 28, at 8 p.m. $59 to $99. 860-226-7711 and mohegansun.com.