Zac Edington was LIVE in-studio with Steve Shettler this morning. Edington considers his style more “country rock” than anything else. Zac is a 2004 graduate of Marshall, an eastern Illinois high school, who’s trying to make it big in country music. A few years ago, those exact words could have been written about 2004 Paris graduate Brett Eldredge, who hit the national scene in 2010 and became a CMT Music Award winner in 2015. He currently lives in Nashville and hopes he can follow in those unique footsteps.
Edington admitted that he thinks about the success of Eldredge, who attended his rival school at the same time, quite often. “I’ve never met Brett,” he said, “but I actually saw him running with his dog while I was sitting there [at a Nashville restaurant] eating tacos.”
Back in high school, the 6-foot-4 Edington was more concerned about football than music. He played offensive tackle and defensive tackle for the Lions, who qualified for the Illinois playoffs all four seasons he was there. But at 17, Edington’s attention shifted to the bass guitar. A school buddy, Dallas Gustafson, got him into a three-piece band called Open Road, which lasted about eight years before members parted ways. “Then the drummer from the band [Jason Nebergall], we started a dual-acoustic side project [Broken Road] that played at different places around Illinois and Indiana, still kinda the local thing,” Edington recalled. “We used to play at the Eagles in Terre Haute and we played over at what used to be the Dawg House [now Ripley’s] … just a bunch of smaller places around the area.”
Right before he turned 30, Edington moved to Dickson, Tenn., about 40 miles from Nashville. Then he decided to end the daily commutes by moving to Nashville in September 2016.