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Photo Project Tracks Brett Eldredge On the Road

Banita Creek Hall from doors at seven:thirty
Banita Creek Hall (James Farrell – doors at seven:thirty)

Brett Eldredge is in the middle of a big tour that will take him from Detroit to Austin, Bossier City to Boston, and dozens of stops in between. For a touring musician, it can be tough to keep your feet planted and know where you are each night. Luckily for Brett, one of the guys in his band, keyboardist James Farrell, is working on a photography project that’ll keep everybody’s head on straight.


Peoria Civic Center (James Farrell – doors at seven:thirty)

James has been playing keys professionally for about four and a half years, first with pop-rock musician Matt Nathanson, then David Nail, and now ACM nominee Brett Eldredge. His on-tour photo project is called doors at seven:thirty and with it he aims to document life on the road by taking panoramic photos of the venues he plays in on tour. He’ll go out onto the stage while the band is loading in their gear, snap a picture, and upload it to his Tumblr page. “This kind of just became a way for me to document where I’ve been, you know? Where I’ve played, what I’ve done, share all these cool venues. You play so many shows in a year that they all kind of blur together.”

Luckily for James, he’s got a small photo studio in his pocket. “The big thing is the Tumblr app got a lot better, the camera app got a lot better, everything’s getting better and it’s a lot easier for me to do it. It’s crazy what an iPhone can do – literally it’s just an iPhone 5s.”

“The pictures are a way for me to keep a scrapbook and also let my friends and family see where I am.” Some folks keep postcards, some keep matchbooks, James keeps photos of the stages he’s been on.

Mayo Arena - Rochester, MN - doors at seven:thirty
Mayo Arena, Rochester, MN (James Farrell – doors at seven:thirty)

“I remember standing on stage in the morning being like ‘Oh! That’s what this place looks like!’ I had no idea.” A lot of the time when rooms like Banita Creek Hall are packed full of people and the lights are down, it can be tough for the guys on stage to notice the things that make each venue different. The mood is always unique though: “I remember Banita Creek being one of those huge places, just huge, with this huge dance floor. And everyone is so respectful of the dance floor. You do not stand on the dance floor. You dance, or you sit at a table.”

doors at seven:thirty is a really cool, really unusual way to document life on the road. It’s weird to see these giant rooms that are usually filled with people and energy and music so bare. James and Brett are on the road right now, and coming through Nacogdoches in May, so keep your eyes open (and give him a follow if you’re on Tumblr) for Banita Creek to pop up soon!

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