There were zero degrees of separation for Thomas Rhett at his No. 1 party for “Get Me Some of That,” the second consecutive chart-topper off his first album, It Goes Like This.
Celebrating with him at The Sutler in Nashville on Tuesday were the tune’s co-writers: his dad Rhett Akins, his pal and co-nominee for CMA New Artist of the Year Cole Swindell, and Michael Carter, Swindell’s producer and Luke Bryan’s lead guitarist.
“Back-to-back number ones are really special,” said Rhett. “And anytime you get to see family and friends in the same room is a great day. Today is a really great day!”
Akins was also a co-writer on his son’s first No. 1, “It Goes Like This” – but the family connection doesn’t always pay off for Junior.
“I really wanted ‘Boys ‘Round Here’ but Blake got it first. He got ‘Honey Bee’ too,” said Rhett of two of his dad’s co-writing efforts that shot to No. 1 for Shelton. “It’s understandable,” he admitted with a laugh.
“Who I pitch songs to depends on who’s recording at the time,” Akins explained. “I sent him ‘Tonight Looks Good on You’ and he texted me and told me he loved it. Literally five minutes later Dallas [co-writer Davidson] calls and says, ‘We’ve got an Aldean cut with ‘Tonight.” It works both ways.”
“Get Me Some of That” turned in Rhett’s favor. “I was leaving the Opry one night and my dad had emailed me the song. I listened to it all the way home and called him and told him I wanted to cut it. We recorded ‘Get Me Some’ and ‘It Goes Like This’ the same day. I knew they were good songs, but I had no idea they’d both be number ones.”
Akins makes no secret about who his No. 1 choice is for Best New Artist. “I’ve written with everyone in that category except Kip Moore and they’re all good. Obviously I have a bias and would like to see my son win, but I’ll tell them all Awards are nice, if you win it’s great and it will do you really well for a year until the next new artist. If you want to have a George Strait or Alan Jackson or Tim McGraw career, you don’t rest on awards, you keep getting better, your next album is always better than your last.”
The next album for Rhett – and 13 other artists – will be The Best of Me, the soundtrack for the film based on the Nicholas Sparks best seller. “I read the book. Don’t judge! I was in the airport and picked it up. If you’re married, you’ve seen The Notebook. The song we did, ‘The Way Things Go,’ came from my catalogue. It’s always been one of my favorites, we perform it live but it’s never been on a record so I’m glad it’s seeing the light of day.”
The Best of Me, which also includes songs by Lady Antebellum, Kip Moore, Kacey Musgraves and Hunter Hayes, will be released Oct. 7; the movie opens nationwide Oct. 17. Rhett’s new single is “Make Me Wanna,” which he co-wrote.