Thomas Rhett: The Challenge of Choosing Songs

CMT Listen Up Artist Says Too Many Good Songs Is a Great Thing

“Too much of a good thing is a good thing.” Isn’t that how the lyric goes? For Thomas Rhett , too many good lyrics and melodies to choose from is almost always a good thing.

But the rising country star did admit there were moments where having so much good material thrown his way did complicate the song selection process for his debut album It Goes Like This.

And that’s a problem he was definitely happy to have and work through.

“The hardest part was definitely picking songs,” he said. “I’ve probably got 300 songs in my catalog, and 250 of them that have never been cut or touched. So it was kind of like, ’Do I wanna go back and cut some of these old songs, or do I wanna keep it fresh and cut some new songs, write some new songs?'”

Hey, options are good. And Rhett’s debut album is a good mix of material and features several of Nashville’s finest as writers or co-writers, including No. 1 hitmakers Chris Stapleton, Shane McAnally, Luke Laird, Jimmy Robbins, Cole Swindell and, yep, Rhett’s proud papa — singer-songwriter Rhett Akins.

It may seem a little surprising that the guy responsible for Florida Georgia Line’s “Round Here” and Jason Aldean’s “1994” would give up room on his debut album for songs he didn’t have a hand in writing. However, Rhett is smart enough to know it’s always best to let the best song win.

“I wanted to cut songs that were of the now, and I wanted to cut songs that I felt like were timeless, and I wanted to cut songs that told stories — whether light or deep,” he said.

And apparently it wasn’t easy selecting tunes for his live show, either. When I caught up with Rhett on the set of his live performance for the CMT Listen Up series, he told me how he and his band pick the songs for his killer live set.

Get More:

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.