Sunday, 25 September, 2011 6:50 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: 'Brett
credit: Kristin Barlowe
country artist Brett Eldredge
2011 CMA Close Up News Service
Some people were born
Country. Brett Eldredge came to it a little late — but once
he got there, he dug in deep and made it his home.
Growing up in Paris,
Ill., Eldredge spent a lot of time hanging out at the local lake.
He played baseball, basketball and football in high school. He enjoyed
all music, especially big-band swing. Hearing Brooks & Dunn
when he was 16 put Country in the center of his map, but the full-blown
conversion didn’t occur until his sophomore year at Chicago’s
Elmhurst College, when he visited Nashville for the first time.
Eldredge went to the
Station Inn to hear his cousin Terry Eldridge, now a member of The
Grascals, with The Sidemen. Called to sit in, he sang “Amarillo
by Morning”; when he stepped down from the stage, his dreams,
his passion and his future had all transformed.
Transferring to Middle
Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Eldredge spent his spare
time going to songwriter circles and hooking up with other writers.
Two years after graduation, he found his break when Byron Gallimore
caught a performance. Soon afterwards, he became the first artist
signed to the newly revived Atlantic Records Nashville imprint.
debut, produced by Gallimore, connects a wide range of moods through
the excellence of his co-writing on 10 of 12 tracks as well as his
extraordinarily communicative vocals. His first single, “Raymond,”
exemplifies all that’s right in modern Country: Written by
Eldredge and Brad Crisler, it shares a deeply emotional narrative
with sensitivity and power. This quality persists in the evocative
small-town imagery of “Signs” (Eldredge, Bill Anderson
and Crisler) and every other moment created and captured here.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
“Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.”
PHRASE YOU SAY OVER
“That’s just one of them deals.”
FAVORITE MODE OF
“Nikes — I love to run.”
“Socks that don’t match — it’s a weird new
lucky charm I discovered after playing my first Grand Ole Opry show
in mismatched socks. It went great.”
TITLE OF YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY
“I’m Just as Surprised as You Are.”
On the Web: www.BrettEldredge.com
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