With the COVID-19 pandemic still at the forefront of artists' minds as they plan their tours, it makes sense that many are withholding their predictions about what road life will be like in 2022. But Thomas Rhett says he's feeling optimistic about the months ahead, despite the fact that 2021 didn't quite bring live shows back to business as usual.

"I feel thankful that we got to play shows this year in the first place. But I do feel like it was somewhat of a warm-up," Rhett reflects in an interview with his record label.

Next year, when he hits the road, Rhett will have a new batch of songs to include in his sets. His Where We Started album, featuring the newly-released single "Slow Down Summer," will be making its way into the world in early 2022.

"I cannot wait to get back on the road in 2022 and have a new record under my belt, having a couple new singles off this project out," he continues. "It's just gonna be a great year to get back on the road with some new friends and get to see a bunch of my favorite people. Just watching the fans file into those shows is literally one of my favorite feelings on the planet."

Rhett hasn't formally announced a 2022 tour yet; in fact, he's only officially got three concert dates on the books for that year, according to his website. Those include stops at Tortuga Music Festival and Stagecoach Festival in April, as well as a Concert in the Coliseum date with Old Dominion in February.

But that's likely to change soon, as the singer has not one but two albums planned for release next year. After Where We Started arrives early in the year, he'll follow it up with Country Again: Side B that fall, the second installment of a double album project that began with Side A in 2021.

With two albums in the works and the potential of a more robust tour schedule, there's a lot to look forward to, Rhett goes on to say.

"I think 2022 is gonna feel like the most normal year since 2019," he predicts. "I don't know: I feel content, I feel clearheaded, I feel joyful."

Before he hits the road, Rhett is finding things to be joyful about at home, too. He and his wife Lauren recently welcomed their fourth baby girl, Lillie Carolina.

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