Brett Eldredge likes it hot.
blog by Kathryn Przybyla • November 15, 2011 @ 7:00am
It didn’t take long for Brett Eldredge to figure out what he wanted to do with his life. It only took one trip on stage with a cousin in Dolly Parton’s band to know that he would be a musician.
This Paris, Ill. native is an up-and-coming country all-star who is best known for his successful first single, “Raymond.” With a debut album coming out early next year, Eldredge was kind enough to give us a call from Nashville while writing some new material.
You were just in Buffalo last month for an acoustic show with Jerrod Niemann and Craig Campbell. How was it playing with those guys?
Brett Eldredge: Playing in a round like that is kind of how I started and how we all started in Nashville. That was kind of cool to hear everybody’s stories. It brought me back and was a cool way to break things up a little bit. With nothing but a guitar and a couple other songs, I had a blast. They are both great buddies and great artists. But every once in awhile I miss my band and miss rocking around on stage like I love to do. I’m always ready to get back to that.
What’s the schedule for the release of your debut album?
BE: We found a few more songs that we would like to add to the record and we’re getting ready to record a few more. It’s going to be early next year. I’m actually working on some as we speak. I’m just sitting here in a coffee shop with a buddy of mine and we’re working on some music. We just got done writing some stuff on the piano. We’re always making music. I can’t wait for people to hear it.
Tell us a little about the process of putting your album together.
BE: It’s a process of narrowing down from a large group of songs and picking out what you do the best. For me, whether it’s something I wrote or something I love, I can tell a story that can relate to me. I like to write songs so many different ways. Whether it’s driving down the road or showing up with this melody in my head, one of my buddies will pick up the guitar and we’ll start writing to it. We could even get a title from McDonald’s where we overheard these guys talking about life or something. Some people are regimented on the way they have to do it, but I love to write songs in different ways, from an idea, a title or pure groove and just jamming.
What is your favorite song to perform on stage?
BE: Probably, of mine, a song called “One Mississippi.” In my live band shows I like to break it down with just me and a piano.
I just got done writing with Tom Douglas who wrote “The House That Built Me” (Miranda Lambert). We had something special when we wrote it. We wrote it on a piano, and the first thing I did when we showed up to his house was I just started singing organically to him playing. I love to break that song down and let it do its thing. So that’s definitely one of my favorite songs to sing for sure.
You’ve gotten to tour with some of country music’s biggest names already like Brad Paisley and Trace Adkins. How was that?
BE: Brad is very professional and caring person. Not only is he a superstar and an awesome artist, he cares about the up-and-comers and the new people. I think he wants us all to do well. When he asked me to be on tour I was just blown away. He treated the band and I like gold. He made things so easy and really supported the new acts. He came on stage with us and jammed out every night and we’d go out on stage with him and sing at the end of the show too. It was a really cool experience.
When it comes to Trace, he and I have a really cool relationship. I met him in Vegas when I was playing in a restaurant and Trace was in there sitting down and I started playing “Raymond.” Then it got all silent and his deep voice he said something like “Man that was good.” Everyone was laughing. As a new artist, having people who have these great careers out there fighting for you, one day maybe I’ll be able to help somebody else out too. I’m just very blessed to have their support. I grew up listening to these guys so it’s just crazy.
Who are some artists you would want to collaborate with at some point?
BE: I listen to so many different people. I love Michael Bublé and Ronnie Dunn is one of my favorite singers. I love singer-singers and guys that sing their butts off so to get up there and do that with them would be so fun.
Tell us a little bit about your new single “It Ain’t Gotta Be Love”.
BE: This is a song I wrote pretty quickly after I got to Nashville. I was burnt on the whole “love” thing. I didn’t want to take things so serious, so I remember going out to bars when I first got to Nashville and I noticed that people were so uptight and worried about finding the love of their life. I just wanted to go out on the dance floor and have some fun and not take everything so seriously. Just have a good time and enjoy it. I am by no means against finding that person, but from that point that was just how I felt. If it comes and hits me upside the head and I find that person, one day I hopefully will. But for now, that’s what I’m singing about.
Who are some of your greatest musical influences?
BE: I grew up loving Frank Sinatra and I sing a lot of that. It’s one of those things where your friends aren’t listening to Sinatra as a young kid at 14 years old. Some of my friends didn’t even know who Frank Sinatra was. I was doing talent shows and wearing all black and the top hat. I learned so much about performing and being comfortable on stage. I loved how smooth that Rat Pack was while performing a song and telling their stories, it really helped me open up as a singer and performer. So I always credit Sinatra for being my number one idol.
One venue you dream of playing at?
BE: Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado.
Your three favorite songs to sing in the shower?
BE: Whatever song I’m making up in my head at the moment, “Georgia On My Mind,” and “500 Miles.”
Do you prefer your wings hot, medium or mild?
BE: The hotter the better. As long as I’ve got a cold glass of milk with me I’ll be good to go.
Update: Eldredge was scheduled to perform on Thursday at Club Infinity, but the show has been postponed to March 28, 2012 due to scheduling conflicts.