It’s been a whirlwind ride for Thomas Rhett. His four albums have produced 16 Multi-PLATINUM and GOLD-certified No. One singles, nearly 10 BILLION streams, back-to-back GRAMMY nominations and Billboard 200 debuts. He’s reached the pinnacle as a performer—from being named the ACM Entertainer of the Year to appearing on Saturday Night Live—while also maintaining such a strong hand in songwriting that he has received two CMA Triple Play awards for penning three No. 1 songs within a 12-month period, while Old Dominion’s “Some People Do,” which he co-wrote, is nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Country Song category. But after keeping up with the velocity of a multi-platinum career, Thomas Rhett felt drawn to what inspired him in the first place.
Rhett recently returned with a new album, ‘County Again: Side A’ in April of 2021, the first half of a two-part release entirely co-written by Thomas Rhett, with the second volume planned for later this year. It’s a musical and thematic return to his roots, an embrace of the sounds, stories and methods that drew the superstar singer-songwriter to country music.
“This record is a big ol’ culmination of a decade worth of living,” says Rhett. “These are the songs I wish I could have written as a 19-year-old, but I didn’t have the knowledge or the life lessons yet.”
The song that gave the album both its title and tone started out as a joke. “I walked into a meet-and-greet wearing cowboy boots for the first time since about 2012,” he says. “Everybody on my team looked at me like ‘Where are your sneakers?’ But it felt good to slip them back on—it felt simple and it felt right.”
“This lockdown has been a tragedy for so many people, but at the same time, how else do you slow down unless you’re forced to?,” he says. “And then you really have to learn how to deal with yourself. The first fifty days of quarantine might have been some of the weirdest, worst days of my existence—for the first time, I had to look at myself and say ‘Who am I? Who is Thomas Rhett without a microphone or a guitar or a stage?’ I had to really dig deep and figure out, OK, I’m a husband, I’m a dad, I’m a friend and those were things I was neglecting. So in many ways, 2020 was a reality check, a complete reset. And then when I finally settled into myself and my family, and started to work again, it completely influenced all of my songwriting.”
As he—like all of us—tries to ponder what the future will look like, when he’ll be able to get back on the road, what it means to put out music in today’s world, Thomas Rhett is also reflecting on his journey, both creative and personal. “Ya Heard,” the closing track on COUNTRY AGAIN: SIDE A, is an offering of gratitude for the surprising and satisfying way things have turned out in his life.
Be on the lookout for ‘SIDE B’ later this year!
Rhett is known for his smash country hits including “Unforgettable”, “Marry Me”, “Life Changes”, “Sixteen”, “Remember You Young”, “Look What God Gave Her”, “Beer Can’t Fix”, and “What’s Your Country Song.”
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