By Aaron Wagner
When you listen to Larry Fleet for the first time, you are absolutely blown away by his voice.
The rising country artist has one of the most soulful voices you will ever hear in country music. The quickest comparison that comes to mind is Chris Stapleton, but Larry is able to appeal to both types of country fans. Those that yearn for the more traditional days of country and the next generation of country fans will both enjoy Larry’s sound.
Growing up in Tennessee, music was always part of Larry’s life as he shares. Fast forward many years later and it was a chance encounter with a country star and a key demo recording that would give Larry his big break he deserved.
“I started playing music at about 5-6 years old but never knew I could make a living doing it. I just loved playing. Then, when I was probably 18 or 19 and I played the set breaks at my cousins little bar gig and I got some tip money and then I seen that I could make money doing it and people liked hearing me sing and play and it was kind of an adrenaline rush and I guess that’s when I got hooked,” says Larry.
Music has been part of his life growing up in Tennessee. His great-grandfather was a gospel singer and most of Larry’s family members lived close enough that growing up they would get together after church to jam out and having a good time.
“I had a lot of influences but I listened to a lot of Merle Haggard, Willie Nelson, Alabama and then I heard Otis Redding and Ray Charles and that’s where the soul influence came from. I like the style of writing from Merle and Willie but love the groove of the soul music.”
While he was talented and loved music, he put those plans on hold to support his family working jobs in concrete and construction. He continued to play music as often as he could on the side and thank goodness he did because it led to running into a country star who reaffirmed just how good he was.
Larry was playing a small wedding and one of the guests in attendance was Jake Owen. Owen was blown away and struck up a friendship while encouraging Larry to pursue music full time. With help from Owen, he set his sights on Nashville and the music industry.
He began writing songs and singing demos as he looked to kickstart his career. It was one of those demos that changed his life once again.
“I was just a writer and a demo singer at the time when my buddy sent me “Lied About Love” and wanted me to sing the demo for him. So I went and sang the demo for him and I thought that was it but the demo got pitched around town and everybody was wondering who was singing it and that’s how I got a record deal.”
“So “ Lied About Love” will alway have a special place in my heart and it really got the ball rolling for me.”
If “Lied About Love” got him his break, then it’s his most recent release that is turning people’s heads.
““Where I Find God” is very special to me and has been on quite the journey. Connie Harrington is one of my favorite writers and she actually hit me up about writing and had an idea for us and that idea was “Where I Find God”. We started dumping all the ideas out on the table and where we actually find God and it’s like the song wrote itself and when we finished we knew we had something special.”
“I sang the demo for it and as soon as we got it back it started getting pitched (because I didn’t have a record deal at the time) and the first person they pitched it to put a hold on it and that person was Luke Bryan. I was pretty pumped about it and it was gonna be a big cut for us but he had it on hold for a long time and then I got my record deal and went to cut songs and I had my buddy Jake Owen call Luke to see if he was gonna cut it and he said no; so I cut it the next day. Since then it’s been my biggest song to date and one of my most favorite songs I’ve ever written.”
When asked what he hopes people think and feel when they listen to “Where I Find God” and his music as a whole, Larry says it’s about honesty and the truth.
“When people hear my music… I hope they feel the honesty in it and it’s relatable. I’m not trying to do anything fancy, I’m just trying to put out good music that is true to me and something I would listen to”.
Favorite album: Red Headed Stranger by Willie Nelson
Dream Collab: Norah Jones
Favorite rising artist: Ashland Craft
Favorite song you’ve written: Where I Find God
Song you wish you wrote: I Drive Your Truck