Thomas Rhett released his sixth studio album Where We Started (The Valory Music Co.) on April 1 2022. Rhett co-wrote 14 of the 15 tracks and wrote some of those tracks with some of Nashville’s finest writers such as his father Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally, Luke Laird, Josh Thompson and our very own Amy Wadge.
The album has received high critical acclaim from various outlets and shows a more serious and traditional side to Rhett as well as keeping with his original stylings that we and the fans love so much.
Thomas Rhett embarks on his US headlining BRING THE BAR TO YOU TOUR – starting on June 17. Tickets are available at ThomasRhett.com/Tour.
We caught up with Thomas to discuss the album. We hope you enjoy!
Hi Thomas – We are really loving Where We Started – The album starts off very strong with ‘The Hill’- was this song pitched to you directly or did you find it by listening to a few songs whilst looking for a song to cut?
My buddy Jordan Reynolds – (who wrote the song with Emily Weisband and Lori McKenna) sent me the song early one morning. And the previous evening, Lauren (my wife) and I had had one of those typical married couple arguments about cleaning the kitchen or something, and that song just hit me immediately and I knew I had to record it. It spoke to me so much in that moment and still does.
How many songs did you record for this album originally and were there any songs that didn’t make the record but you wish had?
This record was mostly written on the road last summer… I called some friends to write with me on tour, and 5 songs quickly became 50. I’m really proud of the songs that made the record, and they feel cohesive to me. There are definitely some other songs we wrote that I love and that will get their chance at some point, but they weren’t the right fit for this album and I don’t have any regrets in keeping them waiting.
You have a written with your father (Rhett Akins) for a couple of songs on the album. What is it like to work with him in the writer’s room?
Writing with him is just the coolest thing ever. He’s usually my first call when I’m setting up writes. I soaked up so much from him in my early songwriting days, which gave me the confidence I have now as a writer. Much of my writing is so personal to my experiences and my life, and when I right with my dad I get to add his perspective to it, because he’s obviously lived a lot of it with me, so it’s a really unique way to approach storytelling.
You wrote with our very own Amy Wadge on this album too on Us Someday. She seems to be killing it out in Nashville right now. What made you want to write with Amy, what was the writing process like with her?
Man, she’s just incredible. I’m a huge fan of Ed Sheeran and, obviously, became a huge fan of Amy’s through the songs that she and Ed have written together. It’s a huge honor anytime I get to share a writing room with here and I feel like something special always comes out of it; as well as Us Someday for this album, we also wrote the title track of my Center Point Road album together. She’s just an amazing storyteller and it’s not surprising at all that Nashville has embraced her.
How much involvement do you have in the overall production? Are you a perfectionist when it comes to the final cut? Have you for example ever not liked something and changed a song or something maybe last minute?
Oh I’m a perfectionist for sure, and I definitely have a voice in everything that goes on in the studio. But I have been lucky enough to work with incredible producers – like Dann Huff and Jesse Frasure – who I trust and they trust me, and the more albums we’ve made together the more that trust and communication has grown. We all know when something is or isn’t quite working, and we definitely went back to the drawing board on the production for one or two songs on this record.
How did working with Katy Perry come to be?
The head of A&R at my record label, Allison Jones, really felt this song would be great with a feature and she suggested Katy Perry. I thought there was absolutely no way we could get her, but we ended up sending it to her and she loved it. It’s still mind blowing to me.
What song of yours is your family’s favourite?
The girls are loving “Church Boots” right now.
Who do you admire in country music right now who may be relatively new to us and why?
The two guys coming on tour with me this summer — Conner Smith and Parker McCollum. They both know exactly who they are and what they want to say.
Any plans to return to the UK?
We always have such a blast in the U.K. – hopefully we can come back next year!
Let’s hope that means C2C Festival…..
Where We Started Track listing and Song Credits
1.”The Hill” | Lori McKenna, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Weisband
2.”Church Boots” | Thomas Rhett, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith
3.”Bass Pro Hat” | Thomas Rhett, Matt Dragstrem, Joshua Miller, Josh Thompson
4.”Anything Cold” | Thomas Rhett, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally
5.”Angels” | Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, Jaten Dimsdale, Josh Thompson
6.”Half Of Me” (featuring Riley Green) | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Will Bundy, Josh Thompson
7.”Bring The Bar” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Parker Welling
8.”Paradise” | Thomas Rhett, Matt Dragstrem, Ernest Keith Smith, Josh Thompson
9.”Death Row” (featuring Tyler Hubbard, Russell Dickerson) | Thomas Rhett, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley
10.”Mama’s Front Door” | Thomas Rhett, Matt Dragstrem, Ashley Gorley, Chase McGill
11.”Slow Down Summer” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Sean Douglas, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley
12.”Simple As A Song” | Thomas Rhett, Luke Laird, Josh Thompson
13.”Us Someday” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, Amy Wadge
14.”Somebody Like Me” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson
15.”Where We Started” (with Katy Perry) | Thomas Rhett, Jon Bellion, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley