Thomas Rhett is at the top of the country music airplay chart this week with the 17th number-1 song of his career.
The journey to the top for “What’s Your Country Song” started in a Dallas hotel room…Thomas shares the story, “So, I wrote this song in a hotel room in Dallas, Texas. Some songwriter buddies of mine, Ashley Gorley, my dad Rhett Akins, Parker Welling and Jesse Frasure all came with me to write that weekend, and we were just talking about ideas for songs and I just mentioned an idea of what’s your country or where’s your country or something like that. And they were just asking me where that inspiration came from, and I just noticed that whether I was in Los Angeles or New York or Seattle or Nashville or anywhere in between, I just kinda noticed that everybody had some country in ‘em, you know. Whether you lived in the city or wherever you lived, I think everybody has a little bit of country inside their bones. And so, we were just talking about how can we write this song, and so we decided to dive in and make the whole song old country song lyrics that tied into a story.”
As fans sing along to “What’s Your Country Song” – and recognize familiar lyrics – you’ll get an idea of the music that influenced and shaped Thomas as an artist, he says “It was really interesting the way that we started to progress the song. I actually threw one of my dad’s song titles, ‘That Ain’t My Truck,’ in the second verse. So, we picked a lot of songs that I feel like really shaped me as an artist, and put those into the verses, and then hopefully when the listener’s listening they don’t really hear the song titles, but it sounds more like a story. And the more they listen to the song, I hope they can kinda go through and be like, ‘Oh my gosh, I love that song. I love that song.’ But also, wantin’ them to make their own interpretation of the song and go, ‘Man, what were my songs that kind of defined my life? What songs did I hear on the radio, that when I hear ‘em today as a 30 year old or a 40 year old, it makes me feel 17 again?’”
Speaking of his dad, Rhett Akins’, lyrics making the track, Thomas admits that started out just as a joke, but as the writing process went on, the “That Ain’t My Truck” lines became more and more important to “What’s Your Country Song”, “As we started to kinda craft this song, we had the chorus first, and then we were trying to figure out where to take the verses. And we kinda thought, what if we could tell a story in the verses through using some of our favorite song titles, whether it’s from the 80s or from the 90s or now. I remember the first line that I spit out was, ‘Are you heart broke because you know that ain’t your truck in her drive,’ literally as a joke, just cause dad was sittin’ there. And as we started to write the song, it felt like it just fit. It was pretty funny, but I’m glad dad got a shout out in that song.”
So, what IS Thomas Rhett’s own personal country song, “I think if I had to pick my country song, it would probably be something by Eric Church, cause I think going through middle school and high school, he was my idol in country music. And I just remember listening to ‘These Boots’ over and over and over and over again. I just loved how simple it was, how strip down it was and the story that it told. Cause I think we all have been in those places where, whether we’re wearing boots or tennis shoes or whatever it is, you’re like, dang, these things have seen a lot of life and a lot of crazy memories, a lot of sad memories, a lot of the good ones. So, I think ‘These Boots’ would be my country song.”
“What’s Your Country Song” is one of the tracks from Thomas’ upcoming album Country Again (Side A) — which will be released on April 30th, with the Side B album arriving later this year.
Talking about the new project, Thomas says “Country Again: Side A is everything I wanted to say when I was 19 years old, but hadn’t lived enough to know how to say any of those things yet,” he adds. “It’s about the crazy journey that took me out into the world over the last ten years and ultimately brought me back home, more centered and content than ever, with a deep understanding for what’s important in life. I’ve had a blast sharing some of these songs in their acoustic form during quarantine and am blown away by the reaction the fans have already shown.”
Check out the music video for Thomas Rhett’s latest number-1 song, “What’s Your Country Song”
Photo Courtesy of Valory Music Co