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Brett Eldredge: CMT Instant Jam Was His Vegas 2.0

He Talks About Full-Circle Experience From Lobby to the Big Stage

Seven years ago, Brett Eldredge would never have believed where he’d be in 2017: back in Las Vegas, performing for a massive crowd as the headliner, instead of just in the background singing old cover songs in a house band.

“If you told me that people would be waiting out in a line to get tickets to a show, period, that would be crazy to think about,” Eldredge said of what he would’ve thought back in 2010.

Fast forward to 2017, when Eldredge was playing at The Chelsea at The Cosmopolitan as part of CMT’s Instant Jam concert series.

Telling People magazine what the old days were like for him in Vegas, he says he was in a band with no name at the Mandalay Bay resort. And he wasn’t playing a big room or an arena. He played the lobby.

“It was me and my bass player — who’s still in my band to this day — and I was just singing covers and random stuff. I was writing songs, and I wanted to get experience playing with a band in a setting like that,” he said of the time before he’d signed his record deal with Warner Music Nashville.

“No one knows you at all, and you really have to pull people away. You’re trying to get some lady that’s playing the penny slots over to you and sing her ‘Walking in Memphis’ until she starts crying or wants to dance,” he said.

According to Eldredge’s official biography, he moved to Nashville right after college and forced himself to learn to play guitar and write songs. So the detour he took to Las Vegas must’ve been his way of learning to love playing live.

“It was a month straight, and every night I was living in a casino. It was a very interesting experience,” he recalled. “I had to try to figure out how to live a regular day in Las Vegas and not go out and be crazy.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.