Tim Elliott Talks Music Row, The Wildhorse Saloon & The Best Places To Eat In Nashville

Tim Elliott Talks Music Row, The Wildhorse Saloon & The Best Places To Eat In Nashville

Current Carolina’s Male Country Artist of the Year, Tim Elliott, has had a big year. We talk with him about what it’s like being on the same charts with your idols, having a record deal and we even get into the best places to eat in Nashville. Before starting the actual interview, I learned that Tim Elliott used to live in Carroll County, Virginia, where I am originally from. He also used to live near Boone and I went to Appalachian State University. He now resides in Mount Airy just like me. It’s funny that we have pretty much been in the same area for years, but this is my first time interviewing him. Small, but big, world, eh?

Tim Elliott Talks Music Row, The Wildhorse Saloon & The Best Places To Eat In Nashville

EPR: How long have you been touring, particularly on the national level?

Tim Elliott: I got signed. It’s been about 2 1/2 years ago now since we started pursuing it on a national level. But the band has been together for 5 years. And even before we were signed, we were doing 150-200 dates a year all over the Eastern Seaboard from the very, very southern tip of Florida to up in the DC area and West Virginia and as far west as South Dakota. We were doing a lot of touring and I think that was one of the big things that helped us in Nashville. We had already started building our fans..in a grassroots, kind of an old school way. You just go out and work shows and work your butt off and build your fan base the old fashioned kind of way.

EPR: That’s really cool though because then we you get on the bigger level then you already have that fan base in place. So, hey, you already have people to sell your records to, right?

Tim Elliott: Yeah, and so far it’s worked out pretty well.

Tim Elliott Talks Music Row, The Wildhorse Saloon & The Best Places To Eat In Nashville

EPR: How are you feeling about all of your success on iTunes and other sites like that?

Tim Elliott: Yeah, my song “What’s Not To Love?” has almost a million plays or streams on Spotify alone. Of course, if you add in Pandora and all the rest, I think we are at 1.5 million plays. And has it been a year? I don’t think it’s even been a year yet. So, it’s pretty staggering when you see those numbers and you think, “My God! People really are liking this song.” And then my last single, “Start Pouring Whiskey On It,” made it all the way up to #41 on Music Row. And as a still technically independent artist, that was really, really cool. It’s kind of cool to see my name jostled in there with folks like Tim McGraw and those guys. It’s pretty awesome.

EPR: It’s got to be pretty surreal. Right?

Tim Elliott: Yeah, I’ve got a lot of screenshots on my phone.

EPR: I bet.

Tim Elliott: You know, when you get the chart, there was one specific time that I was #45 and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s song was #44. I was like, “Dude, that’s crazy!” It’s surreal but it’s a tremendous amount of hard work that’s slowly beginning to start working out and paying off.

EPR: Do you typically still do the clubs or what are your touring plans for next year?

Tim Elliott: Well, we have a new agent on deck with us and we are working with a lot of different festivals and stuff. I mean, the clubs are where we got started so we are definitely planning on still doing some of the smaller venues but we are also doing some bigger festivals. We played Carolina Country Music Fest last year. We actually opened for Darius Rucker and Kip Moore and Billy Currington was there. We actually got a spot on the main stage last year.

EPR: That’s really impressive. Was it scary to perform in front of a crowd that big?

Tim Elliott: Not at all. It was stressful just because we had such a small amount of space and a small amount of time to get set up, get soundchecked and go but it wasn’t nerve wracking at all. You know, the festival we play in Florida, there are about 50,000+ people there over the course of 2 days. There is roughly 20-25,000 people there everyday. And then, we have played some other big festivals, so it’s a lot of fun. I really enjoy the festival stuff.

Tim Elliott Talks Music Row, The Wildhorse Saloon & The Best Places To Eat In Nashville

EPR: So you’ve performed at the Wildhorse Saloon. Are there other like, kind of iconic places like that, you are really excited about that you have been to?

Tim Elliott: That is definitely one of my favorite venues out there. Jill, the manager at Wildhorse, and the staff and crew there are just unbelievably professional. And the food is fantastic. The sound crew is fantastic. The sound system is fantastic. The film crew, the stage, the crowd, the fans. Plus you’re in downtown Nashville, so you can’t get much better than that. And the place is so big. Have you been there?

EPR: No, I never have but, you know, it’s on my bucket list.

Tim Elliott: It’s 4 or 5 stories. It’s a monster. It’s a deceiving place because you drive by it on 2nd Avenue and you are like, “Oh, there’s Wildhorse Saloon,” and then you go in there and you are like, “Holy, Monkey!” because there are like 4 balconies above the dance floor that are all kind of catwalked around the stage. There’s a huge, giant 30 or 40 foot Jumbotron behind the stage. It’s a really cool venue and the food is incredible. It’s a top shelf venue, for sure, with great people.

EPR: Wow! So if the food is so good there, what’s like your favorite thing? What do you get when you go to the Wildhorse Saloon?

Tim Elliott: Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich. You can’t beat it. Wait. Well now, my favorite chicken in Nashville would have to be at Hattie B’s, which is my favorite little chicken haunt when I go [to Nashville]. It was kind of a hometown, Nashville Hot Chicken thing when Hot Chicken wasn’t cool. KFC and everybody now has Nashville Hot Chicken. I’m telling you, though, that chicken sandwich at Wildhorse has definitely got my attention.

EPR: I will have to keep those in mind. So, I read that you are known as the “Human Jukebox.” Tell me about that.

Tim Elliott: Well, that kind of comes from just years of playing in clubs. We’ve played The Bowery several times down in Myrtle Beach. That’s kind of how The Bowery works. You don’t really have a setlist. Pretty much the only way for you to make money at The Bowery is for people to request songs. They put a tip in the bucket and request a song so you kind of got to be able to pull a bunch out, you need really diverse music influences, everything from southern rock to country to bluegrass to blues to Frank Sinatra. It just took all kinds of weird stuff that I liked, so it kind of all jumbled together at times. During live shows you never know. You’re may hear everything from Hank Williams Sr to “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars. You just really never know where we are going to go.

EPR: So, Who are some of your absolute favorite artists to cover that you consider staples of your show?

Tim Elliott: Well, of course the classics, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings. You can never go wrong with those guys. Johnny Paycheck, Vern Gosdin. You know, all those guys definitely shaped who I am as an artist and I am sure they shaped who a lot of artists are today and country music as we know it. But the new guys, you know, Eric Church and I are from pretty much the same neck of the woods. So, we were near Boone. And singer-songwriter guys, there are so many new artists out right now. There is so much great music out there. I definitely have to say that the standard classic guys like Merle, Waylon, Hank Jr, Hank Sr, those guys – I love doing their stuff.

EPR: How did it feel to get Carolina’s Male Country Artist Of The Year?

Tim Elliott: This is the 2nd time I have won that which is crazy because it’s for North and South Carolina and it’s a fan based polling system. I’m not exactly sure how they do it. The very first time I was nominated I was like, “Man, this is really incredible.” The talent in North and South Carolina is second to none. There is just so much good talent around these areas. And to just have been nominated was amazing but to have won it 2 times is really humbling. And it’s all thanks to the fans. It’s all thanks to those folks that come out and see live shows and support local and live music. I’ve heard a lot of people say, “Oh, the live music scene is dying in the Carolinas.” Blah blah blah. You know, it’s tough times for everybody but I definitely commend anyone who does that, who still goes out, who still supports live music, whether it be at the town drive-in, whether it be at a festival or a cruise-in or the local bar. Wherever.

Tim Elliott Talks Music Row, The Wildhorse Saloon & The Best Places To Eat In Nashville

EPR: Right. You should definitely support your local artists and their live shows. What else do you have going on in the near future?

Tim Elliott: We have a new single coming out in January called, “I Got You.” It was actually the first song that I wrote when I got to Nashville. And we have been all across the country playing, literally, I think we have been in 28 states this year so far. And this song was one of the favorites of all of the program directors in all of the radio stations that we played this song at. Everybody really seems to have a connection with this song. I am really excited to release it, especially since it was the first one that I wrote when I got to town. So that’s some exciting stuff. We have a cool video coming out, a cool lyric video, coming up soon. We have all kinds of cool stuff in the oven, you might say.

You can catch Tim Elliott locally at Johnny & June’s Ultra Saloon in Winston-Salem, NC, this Saturday night. Check out the rest of his tour schedule here.

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About Dawn McAlexander

Dawn has been a music lover her entire life. She went to college in Boone, NC, an area that is rich in music and culture. She also worked as a radio deejay for 8 years and grew up in Southeastern, Va, a melting pot of different musical styles and traditions. She has been to more concerts than she can count in every genre you can imagine. She resides in North Carolina with her furbabies and her massive collection of Disney memorabilia.

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