Thomas Rhett is known for heartfelt ballads about family, love and nostalgia about simpler times. But one track on his upcoming Where We Started tells the story of something entirely different: A visit he once paid to a group of death row inmates at a Tennessee men’s prison.
“I could feel myself trembling / When I shook one of their hands,” Thomas sings in the first verse of his new track, “Death Row.”. “I thought that he would be a monster / Turns out he’s a lot like I am.”
With help from guest vocalists Tyler Hubbard and Russell Dickerson — who were also there for the real-life event that inspired the song — TR works through the complicated emotions he felt after meeting convicted criminals sentenced to execution.
“Tyler, Russell and I went and played some songs for a men’s prison here in Tennessee. We left with a lot of complex feelings, so I started writing as a way to process the heaviness,” he explains. “Our goal was for people to understand our experience by way of music — it’s basically a page directly from our journal that day.”
Where We Started will arrive on April 1.
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