By Annie Reuter

“I want to tell you how special this night is,” Brett Eldredge said during his album release party Tuesday (Aug. 6) at New York’s Highline Ballroom. “I never had an album in my life and I’ve been dreaming of this day.”

Surrounded by his family, friends and approximately 600 fans, Eldredge celebrated the release of his debut album, Bring You Back, with a slew of tracks off the LP and a montage of covers including Tupac, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and The Wallflowers. While the fans came for chart-climbing singles like “Don’t Ya,” Eldredge’s eclectic choice of covers spoke a bit to what differentiates the charismatic country newcomer.

In an interview with during release week, Eldredge explained how “One Mississippi,” one of his favorite tracks on the LP, perfectly melds his love for country and soul music.

“‘One Mississippi’ is definitely a song that brings in the whole love I have for soulful music combined with country,” he said, adding that Ray Charles also influenced the ballad. “I heard Ronnie Dunn growing up, I heard Brooks & Dunn and I loved his soulful vibe that he had. I love how he ties that in with country music but with a very rural lyric.”

Another new song, “Mean To Me,” shows off his skills as a songwriter who excels at tender tracks, despite his well-documented goofy side. Though its message is anything but casual, Eldredge explained that the track came to him nonchalantly while fiddling around on the guitar.

“I wanted to write a song telling someone, ‘If I could mean half as much as you mean to me, that would be amazing,'” he said. “Just describing these wonderful things that are special in this world. ‘If I could be the fire in your firefly. If I could be the name that changes yours. If I could be the faith that sets you free. The answer to your prayers.’ The real special things in life. If I could be that, then I’d be what you mean to me.”

Eldredge has come a long way since moving to Nashville seven years ago, and it shows on Bring You Back. He wrote all but one song on the album, but that one song ended up being the title track. “When a song hits you like ‘Bring You Back,’ there’s no way you can’t not record it,” he said.

“It’s been such a journey to get to this point,” he added. “I moved to Nashville seven years ago and didn’t know anybody. I started knocking on doors and writing songs with anybody I could, trying to figure it out. Fighting the fight and people turning you away and closing the door in your face. That’s the way it is in that town and that’s the way it is in the music business.”

He continued: “In that period, I brought myself back around to remembering that fight I had in me and that drive I had when I first got to town and I didn’t know any better. I was like, ‘This is still worth doing, you’ve got to do this.’ And that’s why I called this album Bring You Back.”


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