THE BLUEBIRD PRESENTS
216 North Walnut Street
Bloomington, IN, 47404
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is 21 and over
Some life-changing moments are only apparent in retrospect. Brett Eldredge recognized his moment as it happened. The Paris, IL, native was visiting Nashville for the first time early in his sophomore year at Chicago's Elmhurst College.
"There was something so real and truthful about the songs they were playing," he said, and was shocked when they asked him to come on stage and pick a song. Brett suggested 'Amarillo By Morning.' "When I heard that fiddle intro, chills shot up my spine. I sang it for the crowd there and it was a magical experience. That was the point where I thought, 'This is it. This is something I've got to do.'"
He began the rounds of writers' nights and writing appointments, which ultimately led to a record deal.
The depth of his writing and the sheer power of his smoky and expressive baritone are both apparent in his first single. "Raymond" is the poignant tale of a nursing home employee mistaken by a patient with Alzheimer's for her deceased son, who was killed at war. It is a song whose inspiring reaffirmation of their mutual humanity is affecting listeners deeply. The single rings true for Eldredge as his Grandmother currently struggles through the disease.
Brett has earned a reputation as much for the strength of his writing as for his world-class voice. He and co-writer Pat McLaughlin landed a song called "I Think I've Had Enough" on Gary Allan's latest album, Get Off On The Pain, and one of his frequent collaborators is Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry stalwart Bill Anderson.
"He's one of my favorite people to write with," says Brett. "I love the fact that he believes in country music so much, because it's something I really believe in. My dream, as I find my place in country music, is one day to be an Opry member."
His appreciation for country music became a passion when he turned 16 and he and a friend rode around listening to a Brooks & Dunn greatest hits album.
"There was something about it that just struck me," he says. "I couldn't get enough of it. Ronnie Dunn is one of my favorite singers of all time—I love the soul in his voice—and one of the main reasons I got into this in the first place."
A staff writer for hit producer/publisher Byron Gallimore heard him at a writers' night and introduced him to Byron, who signed him.
"I wrote for about two years, developing my craft and writing with everyone I could. In the beginning, Byron just let me kind of find myself, because that takes a while. As you write more you start homing in on what you sound good on. Eventually, Byron said, 'You've got something here' and we went in and started cutting songs. We did a showcase, and Carole Ann Mobley from Warner Music Nashville said, 'We've gotta sign this kid'. Mobley and Craig Kallman then signed Brett to Atlantic Records, making him the first official signing for the new imprint.
As he worked with his band tightening his show, he was offered a particularly gratifying gig.
"I opened for Blake Shelton at The Ryman and it was the coolest experience. I flew back from this house gig and all of a sudden I'm thrown into playing the Mother Church of Country Music, something I always dreamed of doing. I was operating on almost no sleep, but stepping out on that stage where everybody who's anybody in country music has been meant the world to me."