Country favorite Brett Eldredge to perform at South Shore Music Circus


With his latest studio album, “Songs About You,” singer-songwriter Brett Eldredge takes a rare step in country music today: performing songs that get close to the bone.

Indeed, while not wishing to offend any of his legion of fans with the new release, Eldredge, 36, consciously eschews clever country anthems to explore not only themes of love and heartbreak, but also his own public struggle with anxiety.

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This franchise is part of what separates Eldredge – who will play the South Shore Music Circus in Cohasset on September 3 and the Cape Cod Melody Tent in Hyannis on September 4 – from the pack.

A voice widely respected as one of the greatest in contemporary country music doesn’t hurt either.

Written by Eldredge, with help from Heather Morgan, Nathan Chapman, Dave Cobb, Jessie Jo Dillon, Jordan Reynolds, Mark Trussell and Ben West, and released in June on Warner Music Nashville, the new album was recorded by the fireside at a writing retreat in Montana.

Inspired by the music of some of Eldredge’s favorite singers, including Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Nat King Cole, the album features 12 songs, including the title track, which was released as the lead single in February.

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Hailing from Paris, Illinois, Eldredge – who was named New Artist of the Year by the Country Music Association in 2014 – has had seven No. 1 singles on the Billboard Country airplay chart and 11 gold certifications and RIAA platinum, with hits such as ‘Wanna Be That Song’, ‘Don’t Ya’, ‘Beat of the Music’, ‘Mean to Me’, ‘Lose My Mind’ and ‘Drunk on Love’.

Over the phone recently from a tour stop in North Carolina, the artist talked about his new music and more.

Q: Tell me about your new album, “Songs About You”?

A: Coming in, I knew I didn’t want to do something I had already done. I found a new confidence with this album, so I knew I could either half cut it and talk a bit about my life, or go all out, shamelessly, and be who I am. And that’s what I decided to do.

I try to open up the layers a bit and allow everyone to see and feel it as well. With the title “Songs About You”, I want the listener to know that these songs were originally written about my life, but are also about “you”.

Q: How was the process of preparing this album?

A: I kind of spent the whole pandemic writing, so I had a solid case ready to go. Then I went on tour for Christmas. When I came back, I asked my label for two more months and finished the album, the horn arrangements, etc., after reliving the connection with the fans.

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Q: What role did therapy play in helping you write and perform the music on the album?

A: Through therapy, I’ve learned that it’s okay to say how I feel. And I’m better now at expressing those feelings in my music. Being able to express the full range of human emotions allows me to better move and unleash vocally in the studio and on stage.

Q: Where do you get inspiration for your songs?

A: Most of my ideas come when I feel the greatest connection to myself as a creator. I walk a lot and that’s where I’m most attentive, away from distractions. I give myself permission to be alone and it allows me to go to a deeper and more emotional place. It was a great lesson for me, both as a creator and as an individual.

Q: When are you happiest – writing and recording music, or performing in front of an audience?

A: I love the whole process, from the birth of a song to the day you have the idea for it, to figuring out how to put it together, record it, and then present it to a live audience.

I put pressure on myself because I want my music to mean a lot. And I love when I can sense from an audience that this is the case.

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Q: You’ve had seven No. 1 hits on country radio. Does it make you feel extra pressure when writing new material?

A: I used to feel that way, but you can’t define success by #1 hits. You have to define it by the impact the music has on the audience. I definitely define success that way, not if I have another #1.

Q: That said, what are your favorite songs?

A: I like feel-good love songs like “The Long Way” and “Mean to Me” that really tell a story acoustically – just me and my guitar. That’s how I got my start, playing songwriters and open mic nights in small clubs. To this day, I prefer to tell stories.

Q: How does it feel to play in front of a live audience again?

A: The first show back, I realized how much I had missed it. Now I just play, have fun and do what I was born to do. I’m in a groove where I can be more vulnerable and the most authentic version of myself.

Q: You’re back on tour, but what happened to your dog, Edgar, who was all the rage on your Instagram and even played a major role in your ‘Love Someone – The Edgar Cut’ music video?

A: Edgar is fine. He’s retired from the spotlight, but he still gets out on the road with me, especially when we play dates near Nashville, where we live. How it all happened was that I took a break and Edgar was a big part of that.

I realized that I didn’t want Edgar to be an influencer dog anymore. I just wanted him to be my dog. It’s the best decision for both of us.

Q: You’ve played the Music Circus and the Melody Tent regularly and are back this year, although most of your other touring stops are in bigger venues. What keeps you coming back to Cohasset and Hyannis?

A: I played at the Music Circus and the Melody Tent early in my career and I remember thinking then, “No matter how small I am, I want to keep playing in those venues. I love singing my songs and telling my stories while filming on these stages. Crowds are great in both places. They get a little crazy and have a great time.

See Brett Eldredge

When: 8 p.m. September 3

Where: Cirque Musical Rive-Sud, 130 rue Sohier, Cohasset

Price: $77 and $103

Information: 781-383-9850,

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