Interview with Eddie Ray Arnold
Originally from Colorado, Eddie Ray Arnold settled in North Georgia as a family man before bringing his modern style of 90s country music to the Music City, Nashville, Tennessee. With songs like his road trip anthem "Beautiful Day", and his single "What If I Don't", it’s evident that Eddie has something to say and knows how he wants to say it. When he takes the stage, Eddie's high energy shows are fully intended to entertain and rock your country world.
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
In the words of Luke Combs “I'd still be doin' this if I wasn't doin' this”. Music has always been a big part of my life. I’m not sure exactly what got me into music besides hearing it. How could I not? Regardless of what I’d be doing, music would be involved. It has been a constant in my life.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Family. I spend so much time with my family. I like watching movies, reading, and hanging with friends. Stories. I love a good story and hearing people tell their stories. There are so many experiences and stories to draw from for ideas and directions.
How long has music been your career?
I have been performing or playing for over 30 years in one way or another but after a good run as a cover band singer, I returned to a solo career in the country about 2 years ago.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
I am now based out of the Nashville area. My career was already on a good climb but moving to Nashville has taken me to another level. There is a real reason this is called Music City USA.
Tell me about the best and worst shows you have played.
We played the Ida Cox Music Series in Tacoma, GA in 2021. While we knew it was an outdoor gig where they close off the street, we had been told the crowd was usually about 500 people. We were the only band on the bill and not expecting to take the stage to a street full of people who brought their own chairs, blankets and coolers. It was packed as far as we could see from the stage. Several blocks of just people. We rocked it and it was amazing.
On the other hand, my bassist and I were once booked to play a gig where the guitarist and drummer were hired by the guy who booked us. While we were setting up the guitarist sat down cross legged on the floor and cranked his amp and reverb. Refused to lower the volume because it messed with the ambience as he played nothing but scale progressions that probably only work sonically when high on acid. The drummer had never played drums before and did not even have a set of drum sticks. That was pretty rough. Great for stories but horrible for a gig.
Tell me about your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
There are so many places I’ve enjoyed playing and each has a uniqueness to it from the 40 Watt and Foundry in Athens, Georgia to Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge in Nashville, Tennessee. Just a few bucket list places for me would be The Opry in Nashville, Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado, and Sanford Stadium, in Athens, Georgia.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Wow. So many to choose from. Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Luke Combs, Brooks & Dunn and Jason Aldean would at least be in consideration but straying from the country would be Toto, Journey, and Def Leppard. Off the top of my head here’s a quick list of musicians I’d love to play with: Keith Urban (guitar), Nathan East (bass), Rich Redmond (drums), Greg Phillinganes (keys), Steve Lukather (guitar), Dan Huff (producer and guitar). This list could go on and on. So many talented musicians.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into music?
Here are a few things. It’s the music or entertainment business. Be professional. Understand that you are your business and that the business side of your music is just as important as the music side of the music business. You are your customer service so remember how you treat people as that is how they will perceive your business. When you perform, enjoy it. Have the most fun in the room. That energy is contagious. Play for the person sitting in the seat farthest from the stage just as you would for the person at the front of the stage. Whether the room is packed or empty, play as if it’s a sold out gig at Madison Square Garden.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice, what would it be?
Good job, keep going. Eat more ice cream.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Old Faded Pictures makes my wife cry because of the memories. That’s a special song to me and very personal. Beautiful Day was written and references highway 285 that heads out of Denver, Colorado, through the Rockies and deep into Texas. My family used to drive that road when I was young and I have fond memories of the view and how incredible it felt.
Which songs are your favorite to play and which get requested the most?
Beautiful Day is fun to play. What If I Don’t Always rock it. Rock Your World has been a big hit in our life. When it comes to covers, we do a killer version of Johnny B Goode by Chuck Berry. Brand New Man by Brooks & Dunn and T.R.O.U.B.L.E. by Travis Tritt usually gets a crowd going. We’ve been having a lot of fun with 1, 2 Many by Luke Combs, Somebody Like You by Keith Urban, and My Kinda Party by Jason Aldean go over really well. I have to say, Footloose by Kenny Loggins and Life Is A Highway by Rascal Flatts are without a doubt some of the biggest crowd pleasers. Requests are all over the map.
What is the creative process for you, and what inspires you to write your music?
It could be a phrase or a chord progression or even a simple melody that starts the process and it can happen anywhere. I’ve written quite a few songs while driving and had to hurry to write it down before I forget after I get off the road. I don’t have a creative process like some artists. It varies.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Each song has its own message. I don’t strive for an overall theme to my music.
Do you ever have disagreements when collaborating and how do you get past them?
I don’t recall having many disagreements but the few I’ve had were easily worked through because we respected each other and treated each other properly.
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
I intend to keep making music and playing shows. My next single You Were Worth The Heartbreak is due to be released in the coming months and I’m very excited.