Blaine Larsen’s back and doing things his way.
The Buckley native who recorded his first album before graduating from White River High School has launched a record label, Treehouse Records, with his management company and others and is releasing the first single “It Did” off his latest album “Not Too Bad.”
“This is more fun than I’ve ever had,” the 23-year-old said during a recent phone interview. “This is a record I believe in. This is something I’m passionate about, something I can put my heart and soul in.”
It’s taken a while and for that Larsen apologizes to his fans.
“It’s great to get this new music out to them because they’ve been waiting for a long time,” he said. “There’s a lot going on that I’ve haven’t been able to share with people until now. I promise them, it’s going to be worth the wait.”
Larsen, a former BNA Records artist, had a Top 20 hit in 2005 with “How Do You Get That Lonely,” followed a year later by “I Don’t Know What She Said,” which went Top 25.
Larsen has spent the past seven months putting together a product he stands behind.
“It’s really country,” Larsen said. “If you loved the other records you will like this. It’s more country than the others.”
It’s Blaine Larsen.
“I’m not gonna be the guy that’s out chasing whatever’s hot right now and following someone else’s lead,” Larsen said in his recent biography. “Styles will come and go, but I feel like the kind of music I’m making will always be around.”
Larsen said the songs about love and life reflect his own life more now since marrying his wife Sammie and welcoming their little girl, Zoe. “It Did” mirrors the past three years of his life.
Those events also influence Blaine’s performance of the album’s title cut “Not Too Bad” and the playful “Baby You Get Me.”
“They always say in music that the more experience you’ve got, the deeper you can go,” Larsen said. “I think that’s showing up on this record. There’s stuff I can sing about now that I wouldn’t have been able to do before because I hadn’t lived through it.”
Larsen’s new perspective also shows up in his performance of “Never Gonna Feel That Way Again,” telling the story of a high school football player realizing the surprising joy in unexpected fatherhood, as well as “Some Day When I’m Old,” which takes a humorous look at the golden years, and the rockin’ “Leavin.”
He wrote four of the 11 songs on the album, but his biggest writing accomplishment came recently when country legend George Strait recorded a song Larsen co-wrote with Jim Lauderdale and Jimmy Ritchey.
“I Gotta Get To You” is the third track on Strait’s recently released CD “Twang.”
“I found out while driving in my truck,” Larsen said. “I remember pulling over on the side of the road and crying like a baby. Having George Strait cut my song – that’s done. Nothing or no one can take that away. That’s something I’ll be telling my grandkids.”
In his 25 years as a country artist, Strait has 57 No. 1 singles, the record for more Number One hits than any artist in history including Elvis Presley. His 33 different platinum or multiplatinum albums have earned him the most platinum certifications in country music and third in all genres behind The Beatles and Elvis Presley. Strait was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2006, making him one of a few artists to receive such an honor while still actively recording and producing music.
“That’s the crown jewel of song writing,” Larsen said. “Everyone’s trying to get on his record. It’s a big honor. It’s hard to put it into words.”
A concert tour will depend on response to the album, which is expected to hit shelves toward the end of the year, said Larsen, who now makes his home in Nashville, Tenn. He enjoys performing live and looks forward to getting back on stage in front of his fans.
“It’s an adrenaline rush beyond anything you can imagine,” he said in a publicity release. “It’s kind of like a roller coaster. It’s those good nights onstage that keep you going and remind you of why you love making music. When I’m performing live, I know this is what I’m supposed to be doing, and I’m where I’m supposed to be.”
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