Larry Fleet Is Grateful for Boredom … and Jake Owen
Larry Fleet recently found out he's a pretty big deal in Eclectic, Ala. The soulful country newcomer with a one-in-a-million backstory filmed a music video at a little old church up the road from where he's quarantining, and the locals along Lake Martin took notice.
The song, "Where I Find God," was his first co-write with Connie Harrington ("I Drive Your Truck," "Mine Would Be You") and their collaboration came by chance. Of course it did. Fleet recalls not being able to catch a break in Nashville a decade ago, when he actually tried to make music for a living. A job in promotions at WSM radio was wiped out by the recession. He scored a publishing deal and had a few songs on hold, but those opportunities washed out. So he gave up ... only to find opportunities knocking on his door.
“My whole family, we’re a long line of concrete workers, in the concrete business so I kinda went back and started doing some concrete work and some construction stuff,” he tells Taste of Country from his porch along Lake Martin.
It's an apt location to talk about "Where I Find God," a big country vocal with an even bigger message about finding your spiritual center in the little details that make life beautiful. The song, Fleet's latest from an upcoming project, isn't preachy. An atheist with an open mind will appreciate what he's trying to say — or at the very least, the way he says it — but those who believe will be overwhelmed.
Fleet has never had vocal training, which makes the hard vibrato at the end all the more impressive.
“Honestly I never knew I could sing," he says. "I just played guitar growing up, but I got bored just playing so I thought I could sing the songs."
Jake Owen noticed his vocal talent at a wedding that Fleet was hired to play, and in less time than you'd think, convinced him to quit his job and commit to music. The married father says his wife was pretty comfortable with this decision, and after a few rough months, everything Owen promised started to materialize. He found better songwriting partners, interest from Big Loud Records and an audience moved by his storytelling. "Where I Found God" came after the hitmaker told him to start working on his social media platforms to increase his presence. One Sunday after church, Fleet sang a gospel song and posted it online, and the reaction was positive.
"After a few Sundays of doing that, Connie Harrington, which is one of my favorite writers … she reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, I wanna write a song with you.'"
She brought the title, but together they started listing ways they find God. Over time the song materialized, and once Luke Bryan took it off hold, Fleet decided to bring it to Big Loud, his new record label home as of October 2019, 11 months after he finished runner-up on USA's Real Country.
"When I meet Jake that night he’s like, ‘Man, what are you doing our here playing to 15 or 20 people? You need to do this,'" Fleet recalls of the night Owen approached him. "He goes, ‘I think you need to quit your job … this is gonna work, just trust me.'"
"If it wasn’t for Jake I’d still be pouring concrete right now," he explains. "He don’t like taking credit, but it's due to him.”
Fleet's next project will be the follow-up to the eight-song Workin' Hard album he dropped in November. All of his music is available at digital streaming providers like Spotify.
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