Brett Eldredge just wrapped the first weekend of Blake Shelton's Country Music Freaks Tour, kicking off what promises to be another exciting year on the road. His first headlining tour The Long Way Tour with Devin Dawson and Jillian Jacqueline launches in New Jersey on April 5.
But between gigs when Eldredge returns to Nashville, every time he comes home to a thriving Music City, and there are no signs of slowing down. Approximately new 80 people settle in his adoptive hometown every day. There is construction everywhere, and at least one crane hovers in every direction looking at the skyline. The original location of Music Row's Edgehill Cafe coffee shop, the place where Eldredge was initially discovered, is now a J. Crew clothing store.
On Monday (Feb. 12), Eldredge gave a small group of reporters a personal tour of the Nashville he moved to in June 2006 with a couple of stops at his favorite haunts.
The first stop was Eldredge's "pee plaque." Located on the side of his label home, Warner Music Nashville, this landmark commemorates the times he would relieve himself while on his way to the bars along Demonbreun Street, a favorite college hang when he was a student at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro, Tenn.
As the bus made its way down Music Row, he pointed out buildings where he would go door-to-door, delivering homemade recordings and headshots taken by his mother.
The second stop was his first apartment located on the bottom floor of the State House Condominiums a block away from St. Thomas Hospital. Back then, he got his car broken into twice.
The tour ended at his favorite music venue, Rudy's Jazz Lounge where he sang an intimate three-song set that included his current Top 10 hit, "The Long Way."
"The earlier days of my career are my fondest memories because I didn't have anything, and you're fighting for that dream," he told CMT.com after his performance, "It's an amazing feeling now looking back on it. I appreciate it more and more."
Eldredge explained he first moved to Nashville to be a singer and fell in love with songwriting once he ingrained himself in the local music community. His first big break was co-writing Gary Allan's "I Think I've Had Enough" for 2010's Get Off on the Pain.
"I was singing on demos for other songwriters like Ashley Gorley, and now he's one of the biggest songwriters in Nashville," he added.
He is also thankful for those times starting out when companies who weren't interested in his music turned him down.
"I used to knock on doors, but it was genuine, 'I just want you to hear this music,'" he said. "But 98 percent of people are going to turn you down because so many people are doing music ... It's not that they don't want to give you a shot. But they can only sign so many artists. I still remember the people to this day who didn't shut that door, and I'm still friends with them.
"Every part of the journey has mattered."