Eric Church and Ashley McBryde Give Mystifying ‘The Snake’ Performance at 2019 ACM Awards

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At the 54th Academy of Country Music Awards on Sunday night (April 7), Eric Church teamed up with Ashley McBryde for a quiet, dreamy performance of his politically-charged song “The Snake.”

As the pair quietly spoke-sang their respective verses of the song, the audience sat in awe. Perhaps they were feeling something other than awe as well, as the two sang with two giant, superimposed images of a rattlesnake and a copperhead looming over the stage. The pair’s small backing band provided solemn backup harmonies.

“The Snake,” off of Church’s 2018 album Desperate Man, serves as an allegory for the ineffectiveness of a two-party political system and commentary on modern-day divisions in society. “They just run those forked tongues/ And the whole world's burning down,” Church sings.

Church’s Desperate Man is nominated for Album of the Year at tonight’s ceremony, while McBryde received two nominations, for Female Artist and New Female Artist of the Year.

Check out the full list of winners at this year’s ACM Awards here.

The ACM Awards are produced by dick clark productions, a division of Valence Media, the parent company of the Billboard-Hollywood Reporter Media Group.