Thomas Rhett on Jazzing Thing Up

Sax Solo Inspired by Frank Sinatra

If you’ve been to a Thomas Rhett concert lately, you might notice that one of his songs has some saxophone in it.

That’s because Rhett just wanted to jazz things up.

“Ever since I was a kid, I’ve just loved the sound of a big band, and just like a lot of people, my wife and I listen to Frank Sinatra daily,” Thomas Rhett told Billboard Country Update.

“So going into this year, if there was any way we could rearrange some of our hits we’ve been playing for five years and make them a little more big band-slash-jazzy, we wanted to do it.”

So during his “Die a Happy Man” performance, his utility player Frank Houston plays a sax solo. But when that part’s done, then what? That was kind of the struggle for Thomas Rhett.

“What’s terrifying, having a horn player, is when they’re not playing, what do they do?” he said. “Do you force a horn part into the countriest song in your set? Or do you go, ’Hey, you might need to step off the stage for three minutes’?”

Fortunately, that’s not an issue for Houston, because he plays lots of other instruments when he’s onstage with Rhett.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.