Thomas Rhett’s New Album, ‘Where We Started,’ Was Completely Unexpected

Thomas Rhett thought he was writing for ‘Country Again: Side B,’ but things didn’t exactly go as planned.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

January 19, 2022

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Thomas Rhett; Photo by John Shearer

After Thomas Rhett released Country Again: A in the Spring of 2021, he had plans to take the next natural step by releasing Country Again: Side B, however, things don’t always go as planned. 

In late 2021, with between 150 and 200 songs under his belt for his next album, Rhett found himself at a crossroads. He had just co-written a very special track called “Where We Started,” and quickly realized his plans for Country Again: Side B would have to be sidelined.  

“I think I’ve learned to kind of roll with the punches over the last five years,” Rhett laughed during a recent press event when asked about how he ended up with an entirely separate album. 

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“We were out at my farm, and this song for some reason spurred a lot of other songs that kind of followed suit with it,” Rhett explained of “Where We Started.” “And, when we got in the studio and recorded this song, it kind of started becoming a different project.”

When he realized he was ultimately writing for an entirely separate album, Rhett got with his team and they decided to release Where We Started and hold off on Country Again: Side B

“This album seemed to be such a great middle-ground between the two [albums], very versatile,” he explained. “I feel like this record has a song literally for everybody on there.”

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Out April 1, the project serves as Rhett’s sixth studio album and includes a whopping 15 tracks, all but one co-written by Rhett. The album’s lead single, “Slow Down Summer,” was previously released and is inside the Top 25 at country radio. 

The father of four says it’s “is one of my favorite records I’ve gotten to be a part of” and admits he can’t wait for fans to hear it in its entirety. 

“I think a lot of people have heard some of these songs with me playing teasers on social media,” he said. “And so I’m excited for people to see the track listing and be like, ‘oh, I remember when he played that acoustic,’ ‘I wonder what’s gonna sound like on the record?’ 


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From the lyrics to the melodies to the star-studded collaborations, Rhett promised Where We Started is “gonna be really fun.” 

The title track is a “mind-blowing” collaboration with Katy Perry that completely came out of left field. 

“That was never a plan. I don’t think we were looking for a collaboration on this song,” he admitted. But after someone at his label sent it to Perry’s team he was all-in. 

“I was like, ‘Yeah, but they’re not gonna respond.’…And literally within 24 hours Katy responded and said, ‘I love this. I resonate with this so well,’” he recalled. “When she put her vocal on it, it took her, like, two weeks. She really put a lot of time and effort into this vocal…This reminded me of how amazing a vocalist she is, and I feel like it really came to life.”

Other featured artists include Riley Green (“Half Of Me”) and Tyler Hubbard and Russell Dickerson (“Death Row”). 

Overall, Rhett teased that the album will be an “emotional roller coaster” for fans.  

“I like to make you cry, but then I immediately like to make you smile. And once you smile, I want you to dance. And once you dance, I want you to cry again,” he said. 

Ahead of the release of Where We Started, Thomas Rhett shared two new tracks, “Angels” and “Church Boots,” further amplifying the excitement for the record. 

While fans will have to wait until April 1 to hear the full project, those who pre-order will instantly receive the two new tracks. 

Thomas Rhett - WHERE WE STARTED Album Cover; Courtesy The Valory Music Co.
Thomas Rhett – WHERE WE STARTED Album Cover; Courtesy The Valory Music Co.


1. “The Hill” Lori McKenna, Jordan Reynolds, Emily Weisband
2. “Church Boots” Thomas Rhett, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Ernest Keith Smith
3. “Bass Pro Hat” | Thomas Rhett, Matt Dragstrem, Joshua Miller, Josh Thompson
4. “Anything Cold” Thomas Rhett, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Shane McAnally
5. “Angels” Thomas Rhett, Julian Bunetta, Jaten Dimsdale, Josh Thompson
6. “Half Of Me” (featuring Riley Green) Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Will Bundy, Josh Thompson
7. “Bring The Bar” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley, Parker Welling
8. “Paradise” Thomas Rhett, Matt Dragstrem, Ernest Keith Smith, Josh Thompson
9. “Death Row” (featuring Tyler Hubbard, Russell Dickerson) | Thomas Rhett, Zach Crowell, Ashley Gorley
10. “Mama’s Front Door” Thomas Rhett, Matt Dragstrem, Ashley Gorley, Chase McGill
11. “Slow Down Summer” Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Sean Douglas, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley
12. “Simple As A Song” Thomas Rhett, Luke Laird, Josh Thompson
13. “Us Someday” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Jesse Frasure, Amy Wadge
14. “Somebody Like Me” | Thomas Rhett, Rhett Akins, Matt Dragstrem, Josh Thompson
15. “Where We Started (with Katy Perry) | Thomas Rhett, Jon Bellion, Jesse Frasure, Ashley Gorley

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.