The Marty Smith Podcast: Larry Fleet Talks Getting Into Music at an Early Age, Singing With Willie Nelson, and Touring With Morgan Wallen

by Chris Haney

The Marty Smith Podcast returns this week and we’ve got another great country music guest as singer-songwriter Larry Fleet joins the show. Fleet has worked with some of the biggest names in country music, including touring with Morgan Wallen and singing with country legend Willie Nelson. He dives into what it’s like to work with each, and talks more about his life and career in Music City during his appearance on the podcast.

Yet as our co-hosts often do on the show, they start things out by revisiting the last week. Host Marty Smith had himself quite a run this past Thursday through Sunday. Smith shares that he attended the Barefoot Country Music Festival and took in four straight nights of great music. Summer shows are back and our host is clearly taking advantage and we don’t blame him one bit.

The guys also amusingly chat about alcoholic beverages that look like they’re in soda cans. Smith warns listeners about the new Jack Daniels jack and coke cans, which are right up his alley. He says to be careful out there since they look like a regular Coca-Cola can though. So watch out because your day might be a lot different if you drink the wrong one.

Our co-hosts joke around about that and plenty more before welcoming Larry Fleet to the podcast. Make sure to listen to the whole episode of The Marty Smith Podcast in the link below or tune in wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. Trust us, you won’t want to miss out this week.

Larry Fleet Shares How He Got Into Music At a Young Age on ‘The Marty Smith Podcast’

Country music singer-songwriter Larry Fleet had a long and winding path to finding success in Nashville. It didn’t come overnight like it does for some, but he stuck with it and knew he had a gift from an early age. In fact, you could say his journey to a career in music began when he was only 5 or 6 years old.

Like so many other country musicians, Fleet started performing while attending church as a child. He started out singing and performing gospel music. As Fleet shared, he’d sit around after church and pick guitars while his cousin played the fiddle and his uncle would “play whatever had strings on it.” No one in his family had music lessons, everyone just taught themselves.

“So I started there,” Larry Fleet said on The Marty Smith Podcast about playing music in church. “To where I’m at now, I kinda learned to be just as honest as I could when I write songs and when I sing things. If I’m honest about it, I’m gonna believe it more when I’m singing it. And then it’s gonna come across like that to other people. They’re gonna believe what I’m singing about.”

Fleet also talked about his early songwriting days where he tried to please the industry instead of being authentic to himself. He was chasing top hits on the country music charts and attempting to predict what radio wanted to hear.

“A while back, I used to try to write songs for other people for whatever I thought the radio wanted. But I kinda just quit doing that,” Fleet shared about shifting his songwriting focus. “I was tired of doing it and I just wanted to write something good, what I would listen to anyways. And so I kinda focused in on that and tried to be real, real honest. When I wrote ‘Working Man’ and ‘Where I Find God’ and stuff like that, I lived that stuff. And I figured somebody else does too. So they’ll get it, you know?”

Larry Fleet Talks Singing with Willie Nelson on Stage

Of course, The Marty Smith Podcast host had to know about some of the coolest parts of Larry Fleet’s career. When you make music for and with famous country artists, you come across some pretty amazing opportunities. For example, country icon Willie Nelson brought Larry up on stage to perform with him on multiple tour stops.

“I didn’t even know he knew my full name. So that was a good start,” Fleet said with a laugh.

Fleet proceeded to share his hilarious but amazing story of singing with Nelson during multiple shows. He’d never know what Nelson was going to play until he got on stage, which wasn’t ideal. But Nelson wanted to perform gospel songs each night, and Fleet had those in his wheelhouse from growing up in church.

“That was like the pinnacle, and that kind of happened early on in my career,” Fleet said. “I remember calling my momma. She used to love Willie Nelson, still does. I used to listen to her play Willie Nelson songs and she told me about going to Willie Nelson concerts when she was a teenager. So it was pretty cool. I was like, ‘You’re not going to believe this. I’m out here with Willie.’

“So it was a pretty awesome moment,” he added. “I was like, man, if I die right now I’m alright. I’ve done it, you know?”

Larry Fleet Chats About Touring with Morgan Wallen

As their conversation continued on The Marty Smith Podcast, one of Larry Fleet’s good friends came up. Fleet and country star Morgan Wallen used to work together early on in their careers. However, at the time, Fleet joked that no one cared about what either of them were singing or writing.

Fast forward to Wallen’s recent “The Dangerous Tour,” and Fleet got a call from his buddy one night. Wallen wanted Fleet to come on tour with him. While most country musicians would realize that’s a huge deal and that they’d be performing in front of thousands of fans in arenas across the nation, Fleet had no clue. He hilariously had no idea how big Wallen had gotten in recent years.

“I had no idea Morgan was as big as he is. So the very first night we go out and people are just like, girls are falling out, like it was The Beatles walking up in there,” Fleet said as everyone laughed. “It was like, what in the world is happening? And I told him after the first show, I said, ‘Dude, you’ve hit it big. I had no idea it was even like this.'”

Needless to say, Fleet found out very quickly how big of a deal his old friend is these days with country music fans. The guys talk to Larry Fleet about that and much more on the newest episode of The Marty Smith Podcast. Make sure to check out their entire conversation below, or listen to the full interview on Spotify, Apple, or wherever else you listen to your favorite podcasts.