A Tennesee native, this week’s Swag Spotlight shines on Brinley Addington. Growing up east of Nashville in Kingsport, TN Addington was surrounded by his parent’s musical influences. His mother loved Alison Krauss & Union Station while his father preferred Ricky Skaggs, James Taylor, and Jim Croce. One of the first concerts he attended just happened to be Alan Jackson and Randy Travis, starting his love for traditional country music early.
After a life-changing trip to Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry when he was just three years old, Addington tells us in a recent phone conversation that he can clearly remember being in that famous room. “I remember the feeling, the story my parents tell me is that that day I was really cranky being a 3-year-old on a trip, whining and crying, but then when we got to the Opry and the curtain went up and I was just silent,” he recalls. “It’s just a special place. I love going and it is kind of the mark for me.”
From then on he would stand on the coffee table, pretending to be performing on the stage at the Opry. As he got older he formed his own influences which included Tracy Lawrence, Joe Diffie, Tim McGraw, George Strait, and Garth Brooks. Songwriting started early, Addington recalls freeform writing in English class and a poetry assignment. “I always enjoyed making things rhyme. The thing I love about country is lyrics and what they said, the thing that drew me to songs first were the lyrics I always paid attention to that,” he explains to us. Towards the end of high school, he learned to play guitar and realized that he wasn’t just writing down rhymes, but he started writing songs. Now looking back at his journey into songwriting he is grateful for the guidance he learned so early on. “I love songwriting, it’s a great outlet and I am very lucky that this is what I get to do every day,” he says.
His first cut came last year when Tyler Farr recorded “I Should Go To Church Sometime” as his next single. Written by Addington along with Michael Hardy and Sarah Turner he recalls how the song completely changed his life. Turner brought the idea to the write that day and as soon as she said it a light flip switched in Addington’s head. “There is a lot of truth in it, if you grew up in church which I did, when you get older you maybe don’t go as much as you should and there is guilt surrounding that,” he tells us. It’s not meant to make people feel guilty it’s just recognizing the thought that bad things go on in the world and it’s about stopping and reflecting and thinking ‘I need to pay more attention’.” It was the first cut for all three of the songwriters and they got to experience that milestone together.
Addington’s debut single and the first off his new EP was released last Friday and is titled, “No Thanks”. The track was written by Addington’s friends, Ryan Beaver, Michael Tyler and Will Weatherly. When discussing the concept for his new EP with Beaver, he heard the demo and flipped out over it and loved it. “I kept listening to it over and over and we got down to recording again and I asked if I could record it. They were gracious enough to let me,” he tells us. He loves how it is a fun and lighthearted song all about his favorite kinds of bars. “I’m really not into fancy places. I like going to hole in the walls with neon signs and Miller Lite and it works good for me,” he laughs. “I would rather have a great time in a dive bar and any song that name drops Travis Tritt and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in the same song, I feel like that’s just something I had to be a part of.”
“No Thanks” is the first sneak peek listeners will hear of the forthcoming EP, slated for release later this month. Addington wrote three of the five songs and they are all fun songs, great for a live show. Instead of doing a typical industry showcase to introduce the new music, his team decided to host the EP release at one of the first places he played when he first moved to town, Nashville Crossroads on Broadway.
As for his plans for the rest of the year, he can’t wait to play the new music for his fans and get back on the road. Be sure to follow Brinley on his social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.