Brook Ellingworth’s “Like It Was The First Time” — “Everyone’s experienced that first kiss with the person that changed everything for them.”

Donna Block

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From a small town outside of Oxford, England. Favorite venues to play in/around your hometown?

Living in the country, there’s a bunch of pubs around, so I’ll play a fair amount of bar/pub gigs. But when it comes to venues, my favorite ones to play near me, The Jericho Tavern, they’ve always been good to us, we played a sold out show there last year for the EP Launch. The Library is a cool spot, they’ve got a small basement venue which can get pretty rowdy.

Read that country music has seen the fastest growth of any genre over the past five years in the United Kingdom, with more radio stations and festivals. Which festivals best showcase country music in the UK?

I think it’s incredible how big Country is getting in the UK now! C2C takes the cake I think, with it being the most well-known and having the really big artists. I had a blast at The Long Road Festival last summer, it was just as I got back from The States, so it kept all the networking and good music flowing for me. Then there’s Black Deer Festival, they’ve always got a good lineup, hopefully I’ll be a part of that sooner rather than later.

Started playing the guitar and songwriting at a young age, with your first time on stage was at age 11. First played in Nashville in 2018 at age 19. Can you describe your debut shows in Music City?

I don’t think I’ve ever had nerves like that before. I had met some folks on Broadway and they invited me and mate to another bar to go see their friend play. I believe we were at Whiskey Bent Saloon, then out of the blue their friend Brit Stokes, invited me up to play a few. All I was thinking was ‘Holy cr*p this is mad!!’, I was so excited I called my Dad beforehand. We then moved over to The Valentine, where James Carothers had me up to play a few songs, I actually saw him recently on my last trip to Nashville over at Nashville Palace. It’s safe to say the excitement levels were through the roof, and we celebrated pretty hard, ha-ha.

Independent artist. Dive Bars & Heartbreaks, a six-track live acoustic EP, was your first body of work. It was released last year and includes fan favorites, “Truck Stop” and “Margarita on The Dash.” Playing on your Gibson guitar, Barbara. Do you feel stripped down versions are more personal and tend to resonate more with fans?

I think it all comes down to the song. If it’s a deep heartbreak song then absolutely, a stripped down version can feel way more personal. I’ve always loved writers rounds and the intimacy in them, so whenever I get the chance to incorporate that, I do. But if it’s a beer drinking tequila shooting bar song, it probably wouldn’t hit in the same way.

“When I was 13, I wanted to buy my dad Springsteen tickets, obviously I didn’t have the money to buy the tickets and got him the Wrecking Ball album instead. 11 years later, we’ve finally seen The Boss Live together.” What isyour favorite Springsteen song to perform and why?

The two Springsteen songs I play the most live are ‘I’m On Fire’ and ‘Dancing In The Dark’. The favorite has got to be ‘I’m On Fire’, I definitely play it more, and it’s always great when you can get really quiet and the whole room sings along, it’s a good vibe.

Self-penned, debut single release, “Like It Was The First Time.” “With the plan of recording my first single, there was no question on how I would go about it. I already had many songs under my belt, but I wanted something fresh, and ‘Like It Was The First Time” was screaming at me to be shared with the world.” Based on a personal experience, it talks about a night when you met someone, shared a first kiss (that turned your world upside down) to your never seeing that person again. What helps this song connect, in your words as ‘something fresh,’ with listeners?

Everyone’s experienced that first kiss with the person that changed everything for them. It could have been with the person they’re with today, or someone it may not have worked out with or maybe the one that got away. That’s how I think listeners will connect with this.

Catching rays & catching waves. Dream bucket list of places to visit in the next five years?

I cannot get enough of the sun! And if there’s surf, even better. I’ve been wanting to go to Costa Rica for a while now, so that’s probably top of the list. Maui, somewhere down the line for sure. I’m about to head over to Montana for the first time, clearly not for a tan or surf, but that’ll soon be ticked off. And let’s put Iceland on that list too, the hiking is meant to be incredible!

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