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Brett Eldredge

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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.’”

By the start of the next school year, he had transferred to Middle Tennessee State University and begun the round of writers’ nights and writing appointments that led him eventually to a record deal.
The talent that let him turn that dream into reality—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.

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