Brett Eldredge does somethin' he's good at
Brett Eldredge is transitioning from rising talent to established star as he prepares his third album for the country music kingdom. Eldredge sequestered himself in Nashville studio The Castle to record the followup to 2015’s Illinois, which yielded two No. 1 hits on Billboard’s country charts and earned him a place among his peers with his appearances at this year’s Academy of Country Music awards in Las Vegas. His outsized personality, all easy charm and comic charisma, endears him to fans, and his willingness to blend R&B elements into his contemporary sound gives him crossover appeal to burn. That appeal could easily land Eldredge in a hit box office comedy within the next few years, but this year he will have to settle for securing his place in the upper echelons of Nashville stardom.
What course his direction will take remains to be seen, but if the beats behind latest single, “Somethin’ I’m Good At,” are any indication, he’s willing to explore blending pop and technological elements into his sound. Not that he’s going to depart from the well-crafted, hook-heavy songwriting that drove hits such as “Drunk on Your Love” and “Lose My Mind” into No. 2 country chart positions. Eldredge is likely to follow the muse he tapped into since he was a Sinatra-indoctrinated child singing at family gatherings.
Determined to enter the country music business, Eldredge moved to Nashville from his native Paris, Ill., in 2007 and started writing songs. By 2011 he had his first hit, “Raymond,” a song about a man who pretends to be the son of an Alzheimer’s patient. It showed a thoughtful side that would resurface in his most recent No. 1 airplay hit, “Wanna Be That Song,” but it’s his willingness to not take himself seriously and comedic sensibilities that cause him to pop from the screen, whether it’s in the slapstick performance he gives in the video for “Somethin’ I’m Good At” or the goofy-humored sketches he uploads to his YouTube account.
Singles “Don’t Ya,” “Beat of the Music” and “Mean to Me” from his debut album, 2013’s Bring You Back, became the No. 1 songs played on country radio stations. Eldredge and his production team garnered praise for the studio-perfect sound of the album and the composition strength of the songs, while he received positive reviews for successfully stretching his sound on Illinois. Eldredge indulged his Sinatra inclinations for last year’s Christmas album, Glow, but when it came time for his next single he turned to an R&B beat to drive the song he would sing at the April 2 ACM awards in a performance that followed him from backstage at the T-Mobile Arena to center stage.
Eldredge is no stranger to Vegas. He played with a band off the casino floor of Mandalay Bay before he hit it big, and by 2015 was performing alongside Nashville’s top stars at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. This year he performed an Instant Jam concert at The Cosmopolitan, and launches his latest tour at Park Theater at Monte Carlo before joining Luke Bryan’s Huntin’, Fishin’, and Lovin’ Every Day Tour. He’ll be the opening act, probably for the last time before he attains permanent headliner status.
Park Theater at Monte Carlo, 8 p.m. April 28, $59.50-$99.50 plus tax and fee. 702.730.6620