Who is Larry Fleet? The singer-songwriter joined us to chat about his journey to country music. Get to know the rising star here…
Full Name – Larry Fleet
Birthday – February 14th
Hometown – White Bluff, Tennessee
Current City – Nashville, Tennessee
Musical Influences – Otis Redding, Willie Nelson, Marvin Gaye, Merle Haggard
Label – Big Loud Records
Current Album – Earned It (As of article date – 9/4/2023)
One of our current favorite artists is on his way to superstardom. While Larry Fleet may not need an introduction, we are highlighting his story in this week’s spotlight feature. The rising artist has worked hard for years trying to make a name for himself in the industry, and his story is one of timing, grit, confidence, and a ton of hard work.
“I actually grew up 30 minutes west of Nashville in White Bluff, Tennessee,” began Fleet. “Grew up there, born and raised, and ended up moving to Chattanooga as I got older, and we ended up buying a house right back where I grew up.” Fleet recalls that music was an important part of his upbringing.
“I had a great uncle who played guitar and pretty much anything with strings on it, he could play. We would all go to his house after church on Sunday, and we’d go over there and they would all sit around and play music, so that made me want to play,” he shared. “They taught me how to play guitar when I was like five or six years old […] I really loved it, so I kept playing and ended up taking a few lessons to try to understand what I was doing and learn to read music and stuff like that.”
During his childhood, the singer-songwriter was exposed to many different genres of music. Firstly, it was all about bluegrass and gospel music, and eventually Fleet was introduced to Rock and soul music. “At that time [when I was a child] we were into bluegrass and gospel stuff. One of my first songs that I ever learned how to play was the “Wildwood Flower”,” he shared. Adding, “I learned a lot of Willie Nelson when I was a kid because my mom loved him.”
“I love music and I love how different things can make me feel. If it made me feel a certain way, I would dive into it and learn everything about it, and study what they did, and study the songwriting, and how people put the song together.”
He also recalls his grandfather introducing him to rock music and his best friend’s mom introducing to him to soul music for the first time. “She played me Otis Redding and the Temptations and stuff. That’s when I started learning about soul music, and I loved it and I loved the way it felt.”
The Turning Point:
Despite loving music all throughout his life, Fleet found himself focusing on sports and putting music on the back burner throughout high school. “As the years went on, through high school and college I would pick up my guitar and try to write songs and play other people’s stuff just to tinker around with it,” shared the singer, reflecting on how music was still fun, despite not always being a focus.
He ended up getting really good and craving songs, playing guitar, and singing, even though he never considered playing music professionally. “I went and played a couple of bars and stuff and I made some tips and I was like ‘wow I can make money doing this.’ It was always an adrenaline rush going up there,” he shared. Adding, “Enough people told me I was good at it that I believed it and thought maybe I’ll try to do this.”
For years, Fleet cut his teeth playing whatever gig he could and playing in bars. Eventually, the singer-songwriter accepted that this maybe was not the road for him. “After a while you either realize it’s not going to happen or maybe it will, and I didn’t want to be an old man playing in the bars trying to make something of music if it was never going to happen. After playing a long time I thought this wasn’t in my cards, so I went back to doing construction work. […] I really was happy and thought that was it.”
While working his construction job, Fleet and his buddies would play random gigs for extra money from time to time. One night, while playing at a a private party, the singer met Jake Owen by happenstance. “Jake Owen happened to come in there and sit and watched me play for a while. […] He was like “why don’t you quit your job and try to do this thing” and “I said if you take me on the road with you, we’ll see what happens.” He called me a week or two later, and I ended up going on the road with him.”
After a successful first week on the road, Owen invited him to come back on the road with him the next week, and persuaded him to quit his job to give music another shot. Fleet obliged and thank God he did. “I gave it a try, and here we are, it worked,” he stated. “It took a long time to get where we are at, but it’s cool. I’m super blessed and thankful to play music for a living.”
With three albums now to his name, Fleet’s hard work has definitely paid off. The husband and father has found success both in his personal and professional life. Professionally-speaking, just last week, the singer released his third studio album, Earned It. Filled with 21 songs that embody who the singer is as a person and what he is all about, the record is an incredible display of talent.
When asked about the new project, Fleet shared that it was a new and exciting time for him in his career. “I wanted to call this record ‘Earned It’ because I think it kind of sets the mood there and it feels right,” he shared. The singer went on to share how important the title track, which he co-penned, meant to him and the record as a whole. “I had to go out, learn my craft, play bars for years and years, and years, and I played for nobody, I made no money. I had to learn how to write songs, and I worked really, really, really hard at it. I’ve had to learn to do what I’m dong. It’s not a cocky thing, but I did ‘earn it’. I worked hard for it. A lot of the world is blue-collar people, and they work hard everyday. […] Working hard for what they got and their family and stuff, so this is kind of an anthem for blue-collar, everyday, working men and women, it’s a working man pride kind of thing.”
That sentiment truly speaks to the new record and Fleet’s catalog of music as a whole. Fleet is humble, honest, and as hardworking as they come. “I think you need some fun stuff, I think you need some stuff that would make you feel, and some heartbreak stuff, so I tried to piece together 21 songs that all go together. There’s something on this record for everyone.”
Looking ahead, big things are in store for Fleet and his fans. As he promotes this record, the singer can be found playing gigs across the country. Checkout his tour dates here.
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Larry Fleet’s music is available everywhere you buy or stream music. Take a listen below and check out more new recently released tunes on our ‘New Country Music’ playlist. Be sure to give the playlist a follow for your weekly new country music fix.