Eric Church's newly released single, 'Homeboy,' is almost guaranteed to cause an emotional lump to land squarely in your throat. If there was ever a song to showcase Eric's brilliant wordplay, wringing emotion from an all-too-common situation, this is it. After all, who can't relate to the too-cool-for-this-little-town-and-my-square-family homeboy who severs all ties and may come to regret it as his parents face being "called home, boy," as Eric sings.

"I love it. It's epic, and the story is epic," Eric tells The Boot of the new song. "It's a journey. It starts in one place and ends up in a totally different place. The label didn't know it was coming, and I played it for them recently and they loved it."

Eric wrote the song for his next album, which he plans to complete in March. Although the title and release date of the album have yet to be chosen, the North Carolina native has long had a very definite idea of the music he wanted to present. To craft those lyrics and sounds, the singer-songwriter spent a month last summer secluded in the woods in his home state.

Although the album isn't finalized, Eric says 'Homeboy' sets the tone for the other richly textured tales on the collection, all set to his unique blend of country-rock.

Perhaps more than anything, though, 'Homeboy' sprang from the slang term that Eric's sports-coaching co-writer presented.

"Once you craft the idea, what tied it together was the chorus," says Eric. "I like to sit down and let the song take you somewhere. We all hear the term 'homeboy' ... and the brother pleads with him to come home before mom and dad go home, or to a kind of heaven. When you're a songwriter and think about those different ways to use "home," that's what moves the song along."

Eric is on tour for much of this year. His next scheduled concert is with Jason Aldean in Florence, S.C., on February 24. For more information on his upcoming shows, click here.