Interview: Larry Fleet Delivers a ‘Stack of Records’ With New Album
Larry Fleet has always known the power of a song. As he sings in his new song "Stack of Records," "When I couldn't find the words, I'd play some her some Whitley ... When I couldn't find myself, I'd turn on some Otis ..."
At his childhood home in White Bluff, Tenn., Fleet's parents had an eclectic record collection: Merle Haggard, the Marshall Tucker Band and more traditional country and southern rock from his dad; Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd and soul music from his mom. It all comes together on Stack of Records, Fleet's new album, due out on Sept. 24.
"That's how I grew up, and that's how this whole record came together ... You're listening to a stack of records here that I wrote and put together," Fleet explains during a recent conversation. "It represents me well ... I was very honest when I wrote these."
Across 14 songs, Fleet offers "a good representation of me and where I'm at in my life and everything," but also a lot of stories. "Where I Find God," Fleet's current single, describes the sacred, natural spaces in which Fleet centers himself. "Church Parking Lot" reflects on the milestone moments — learning "how to love and cuss and talk to God" — that all took place "between painted white lines" in a small-town church parking lot. "One for the Road" is a country drinking song and the tale of a weary traveler rolled into one.
Fleet says his favorites on the album include "Lifetime Guarantee" and "Heart on My Sleeve." On Friday (Aug. 27), when he announced the record, Fleet released "Different Shade of Red":
Connie Harrington, Eric Paslay, Brett James, Rhett Akins, the Warren Brothers and more are among Fleet's co-writers on Stack of Records. Joey Moi produced the project — he also produced Fleet's 2019 release, Workin' Hard — perhaps a surprise if you know the lauded producer from his work with Nickelback and Florida Georgia Line.
"Joey's not a one-trick pony ... He's a hitmaker, and he's a smart guy. He can figure things out," Fleet says. When the pair first met, the artist recalls, Moi expressed interest in working with Fleet precisely because his sound and style are different from Moi's best-known work.
"So I said, 'Well, let's give it a shot,' and I'm glad we did," Fleet continues. "He knows how to make it sound really good but also leave integrity to it. And he knows how to pick the song."
In addition to Moi and his co-writers, Fleet worked with Jon Pardi, Jamey Johnson and Bryan Sutton on Stack of Records, enlisting the three across two songs. Fleet and Johnson co-wrote the song on which he and Sutton appear, "Highway Feet," a bluesy, twangy shuffle that celebrates the free-wheeling feeling that comes with finally getting the chance to indulge your wanderlust after too much time at home.
It was actually Johnson's team who first contacted Fleet to ask about setting up a co-writing session for the two. During that initial meeting, they talked for hours and got lunch, but never picked up a pen — "we didn't even pick up a guitar," Fleet remembers.
A second session yielded "Highway Feet," but it wasn't a given that Johnson would perform with with Fleet; in fact, when Fleet initially proposed that plan, he "didn't really get much of a response about it." When Fleet sent Johnson what he and Moi had worked up for the song, though, Johnson was all in.
"He called me immediately," Fleet recounts, adding, "He liked what we did with it, which made me happy because it was kind of getting his approval on it a little bit."
Stack of Records is available to pre-order and pre-save now. Full album details are below.
Larry Fleet, Stack of Records Tracklist:
1. "Stack of Records" (Larry Fleet, Ben Hayslip, Eric Paslay)
2. "Lifetime Guarantee" (Larry Fleet, Chris Gelbuda, Brett James)
3. "Where I Find God" (Larry Fleet, Connie Rae Harrington)
4. "Quittin' Ain't Workin'" (Larry Fleet, Rhett Akins, Will Bundy)
5. "Different Shade of Red" (Larry Fleet, Lindsay Rimes, Michael Whitworth)
6. "A Life Worth Living" (Larry Fleet, Will Bundy, Brett James)
7. "Hurt Feelings" (Larry Fleet, Will Bundy, Brad Warren, Brett Warren)
8. "Church Parking Lot" (Larry Fleet, Lindsay Rimes, Michael Whitworth)
9. "In Love With My Problems (feat. Jon Pardi)" (Larry Fleet, Jake Mitchell, Josh Thompson)
10. "Three Chords and a Lie" (Larry Fleet, Will Bundy, Jeff Hyde)
11. "Never Wanna Meet Another Woman" (Larry Fleet, Will Bundy, Lydia Vaughan)
12. "Heart on My Sleeve" (Larry Fleet, Will Bundy, Jeff Hyde)
13. "One for the Road" (Larry Fleet, Emily Fox Landis, Logan Wall)
14. "Highway Feet (feat. Jamey Johnson & Bryan Sutton)" [Bonus] (Larry Fleet, Jamey Johnson) **
** available on physical album and album download