Thomas Rhett‘s album Country Again – Side A is available now!
Country Again is the result of the last 10 years of Thomas’ life, but more specifically, the last 15 months. It was the quarantine and time off from his usual hectic schedule that allowed all this music to be created.
Thomas says, “A lot of this record started getting written once I started to slow down. You know, I actually had time to be creative again, and I had time to be inspired and had to think about the last couple of years, and the last 10 years of my life, and all the lessons I learned from that. So, when I say this is the record I wish I could have written at 19, well there’s no way I could have. I didn’t have this kind of material to talk about. I didn’t have the struggle and the awesomeness of being a dad, or the struggle and awesomeness of married…you know, it was just me. So, I think looking back on these last 10 years, and looking at all the ways that I’ve grown and all the inspiration that’s come from being a dad and being a husband really translated into what this record is today and just something I’m proud of.”
Along with having two songs on the album with the word “country” in their title, as well as the project’s name too – “country” is a major theme throughout many of the tracks.
Thomas Rhett explains what “country” means to him, “I think the word ‘country’ is a pretty strong synonym. I think it means a multitude of things. Just like any other word in the world, it could be construed for good, or construed for bad, you know. I think ‘country’ for a lot of people means boots and fiddle and steel guitar and being in the woods, and I think those things are definitely one meaning, but for me, even in the song ‘Country Again’ it is about that stuff, but it’s more about just a simple way of life, and a lifestyle where you don’t need much to make you happy, and on a musical front the word ‘country’ to me, means an honest story.”
Telling that honest story all comes down to the songwriting. While he had a hand in writing all the songs on this project, Thomas is quick to tell you that he didn’t do it alone, “None of these songs would have happened if it was just me in a room. I’ve tried to write millions of songs by myself and I always stop at the chorus cause I can’t ever…I don’t trust myself…you know, I don’t trust myself to write a second verse, so all the cowriters on this record made this record what it is.”
COUNTRY AGAIN – SIDE A TRACK LIST:
1. “Want It Again” | Thomas Rhett, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Miller, Josh Thompson
2. “Growing Up” | Thomas Rhett, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Miller, Josh Thompson
3. “What’s Your Country Song” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Parker Welling
4. “Where We Grew Up”* | Thomas Rhett, Luke Laird, Josh Miller
5. “Heaven Right Now” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson, Laura Veltz
6. “To The Guys That Date My Girls” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Will Bundy, Josh Thompson
7. “More Time Fishin’” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Will Bundy, Josh Thompson
8. “Country Again” | Thomas Rhett, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley
9. “Put It On Ice (featuring Hardy)”+ | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson
10. “Blame It On A Backroad” | Thomas Rhett, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley
11. “Ya Heard” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Matt Dragstrem, Chase McGill
The project is title Country Again – Side A because this is the first group of songs that Thomas is putting out. Originally he had close to 30 tracks ready to release…until he had a conversation with his younger brother, “I thank my 15-year-old brother for this split of this album because…he’s 15, and he’s super hip and he’s on the Tik Tok trend and all that kind of stuff, and I asked him, ‘If I were to put out a record that had 26 songs on it, do you feel like that’s something you could listen to?’ And he said ‘Absolutely not’ (laugh), and I said ‘How far would you get before you just switched it to something else?’ And he said ‘Maybe…maybe 8 songs.’ And I was like, ‘OK, that’s good intel.”
At first Thomas was thinking of his own personal preference when it came to getting new music from his favorite artists — like the recent triple album, Heart & Soul from Eric Church, “You know, if I love an artist…the more the better for me. You know what I’m saying, like, the fact Eric Church is releasing a triple album is like Christmas to me. I get to live with 3 and half hours of brand new Eric Church music…but I’m also 30-years-old and I have time to sit and actually do that.”
But the more he thought about it, and following the advice of his brother, Thomas Rhett started to think that splitting up the Country Again album into 2 parts was the best thing for the music, “You know I think a lot of times, songs can get really left behind when there’s too many of them at the same time, you know especially in the way that they’re sequenced. If I were to put 26 songs on the same record and I save my favorite one for number 26, how many people are actually going to get there?”
He adds, “So, I wanted to do a double album because I had too much music that I loved, and I wasn’t ready to part ways with. But that’s the reason I split it up…it’s so people can have a lot of time to digest these 11, and then when Side B comes out, they have time to digest those 12 to 15 songs…and then they can listen to it as a full project and understand why all these songs were recorded in the first place. So, if they were to listen to 26 songs straight down they’d probably just pick their favorite 4 and listen to those on repeat…rather than getting 11 and 12 to 15, they get to actually soak it in, and actually recognize each song for what it is.”
Thomas shares what the album Country Again – Side A means to him, “I’ve never been more excited about a release of an album than I am now, and I would attribute that to I’m just excited to be living for today, you know rather than thinking about what I’m doing in 10 years. So, in many ways that’s probably one of the biggest lessons I learned over the last 15 months. It allowed me to be able to write songs like ‘Country Again’ – you know that song would have never being written in this kind of fashion, had I not lived the last 15 months the way that I had. And also to be able to reflect on my last 10 years and go ‘Dang, I was living OK, but I’m not sure I was living to my fullest. You know, like I am today.’ Which is exciting to say.”
Photos Courtesy of Valory Music Co