By Maxim Mower
The clever, heartbroken track flips the classic Biblical creation story, with Morgan and Eric adding in an extra step, “So God made a girl, his best work of art / Oh, but he didn't make no place to go when she breaks your heart / So man made a bar”.
It's a deftly, wittily composed narrative cushioned by a sinuous, enchanting melody and sleek, understated production, and when Morgan Wallen unveiled it as his latest single at Country Radio in November, he effectively confirmed its destiny as a future No. 1.
Long before Morgan Wallen's Country Radio announcement and his fiery 2023 CMA Awards performance of the track alongside Eric Church, ‘Man Made A Bar’ had established itself as one of the many highlights on Morgan's 2023 opus, One Thing At A Time.
Given how popular the song has unsurprisingly become since its release in March, does Larry Fleet ever wonder what might've been if he'd recorded ‘Man Made A Bar’ himself?
Larry immediately shakes his head, “I was a songwriter before I was an artist. I never really wanted to be an artist, I just wanted to write songs. So for me as a songwriter, it was a no-brainer”.
The bearded crooner goes on to underline how, if anyone was going to record it other than him, he knew he wanted it to be his fellow Tennessee native, “Morgan's a good friend of mine, and he was the only guy I sent [‘Man Made A Bar’] to. I knew he was looking for one more song to finish off his record, and I said, ‘Well, I’ve got one, and if you don't want it, that’s fine, because I'm gonna do it’”.
Having said this, Larry Fleet jokes that his producer was a little more reluctant to let Morgan Wallen take ‘Man Made A Bar’, instead of Larry holding onto it for his own album, Earned It, “My producer was like, ‘Why did you let that song go!’ But for me, as a songwriter, I was so proud to have Morgan sing that song and then get Eric Church on it too…that was really special for me...and that meant more to me than me getting the No. 1 with it. As a songwriter, I want to get cuts for other artists”.
Larry Fleet has made ‘Man Made A Bar’ a regular feature of his captivating live setlist, “I get to go play it at my shows, and say that I wrote this and say it’s a Morgan Wallen and Eric Church song. People get excited because they know all their stuff. So I get to sing a song that I wrote and everybody gets to sing along to it”.
Nonetheless, given how in-demand Larry Fleet remains as a songwriter, the husky vocalist explains that he still struggles from time to time to decide which songs to keep for himself and which to allow other artists to take. It's a dilemma that almost prevented Larry's biggest hit to date, the soulful, vulnerable ‘Where I Find God’, from being included on his widely acclaimed 2021 Stack Of Records project.
Larry recalls, “Originally, [‘Where I Find God’] was on hold for Luke Bryan…but I'm so glad it turned out the way it did, because he ended up not doing it and that's a song that really made my career”.
Larry Fleet expands on the continual tussle between the songwriter and the solo artist within, and he endearingly shares how one member of his team in particular always encourages him to be the lead singer, “I still have a battle with it…because there are songs my wife loves. When there are other people that are wanting to record my songs, she’s like, ‘Yeah but I love when you do it, I want to hear you do it’”.
He adds with a teasing smile, “But I'm like, ‘When that bank account rolls in you’ll see why I [let it go]...!’”
Larry Fleet joined Morgan Wallen to perform ’Where I Find God’ during Morgan's blockbuster headlining show at London's O2 Arena in early December, and their chemistry radiated throughout the song, despite them not having rehearsed it in advance.
Following another stellar couple of records from both Morgan Wallen and Larry Fleet in 2023, it's safe to say fans’ calls for the two to release a collaboration are growing louder, with many still hoping they drop a joint studio version of ’Where I Find God’. In a conversation with Holler earlier in the year, Larry hinted that he hopes this duet will find its way onto streaming platforms sooner rather than later - and we sure do too.
For more on Larry Fleet, see below: