Hendersonville, Tennessee is about 20 miles northeast of downtown Nashville. So if might not mean much to tourists. But to Thomas Rhett, it’s everything.
Which is why his next album — Center Point Road, due out May 31 — literally hits so close to home.
“For me, Center Point Road really symbolizes what it was like to grow up in Hendersonville. First dates, first football games, first heartbreak, first kisses, success and failures. I really feel like that road shaped who I am today, and it felt fitting because the record, for the most part, is pretty nostalgic,” Thomas Rhett said of the road that winds its way from Long Hollow Road down to Old Hickory Lake.
“Songs like ’Almost,’ ’That Old Truck’ and especially ’Center Point Road,’ really describe who I was as a kid and teenager, and who I’ve become as an adult,” he added. (He also has one on the album called “VHS,” and as founding member of Blockbuster, I think I will relate to that one the most.) “On this one, I just got back to why I wanted to make music in the first place — and that was writing great songs. This is one of those records that every time I listen back to it, it still feels new.”
And he’s not all alone out there on Center Point Road. For a few of the tracks, he’s brought some friends along: Little Big Town on “Don’t Threaten Me With A Good Time,” Kelsea Ballerini on the title track, and Jon Pardi on “Beer Can’t Fix.”
As Thomas Rhett says in his latest social media post about the road he’s driven a gagillion times, “We all have one.”