“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 collection 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 Radio.com during release week, Eldredge explained how “One Mississippi,” one of his favorite tracks on the album, 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.”