with Drake White
Friday, Dec 09, 2011 8:30 PM CST
Joe's on Weed Street, Chicago, IL
21 years and over
Some life-changing moments are only apparent in retrospect. Brett
Eldredge recognized his as it was happening. The Paris, IL, native was visiting Nashville for the first time early in his sophomore year at Chicago's Elmhurst College. He was at the Station Inn, an historic bluegrass/country venue where many of the greats of both worlds have played. His cousin Terry, a veteran of Dolly Parton's band and now a member of the Grascals, was playing with a band called the Sidemen, and a mesmerized Brett was in the crowd. "There was something so real and truthful about the songs they were playing," he says. What happened next came as a shock "He asked me to come up on stage and told me to pick a song to play with the band," says Brett. I said, 'Amarillo By Morning,' and 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.'"
"As a songwriter," he says, "my aim is to portray a little bit of me and my life along with the stories of other people and turn them into something that can really touch somebody's heart and soul. We sit down on Music Row every day and write songs and every once in a while a song like ‘Raymond’ comes from such a real place. I hope it's that real to other people and that I can make them feel the way I felt when I wrote it and when I sing it." Judging from audience reaction, that’s exactly what he’s doing.