LaRue, born in Taft, Texas, and bred in southeastern Oklahoma, assembled the same team to launch “Aviator” as he did to weave “Velvet,” again writing with fellow singer and songwriter Mando Saenz and working with producer Frank Liddell, who has helmed projects by Tishomingo resident Miranda Lambert, Jack Ingram and Lee Ann Womack.
“If you could’ve just felt the energy in that room while everybody was recording at the same time, everybody just looking at each other and just smiling from ear to ear. ... We just picked up where we left off, so to speak. Wish we could do it every day,” LaRue said.
Considering it took LaRue six years after his debut studio album, 2005’s “The Red Dirt Album,” to spin “Velvet,” his newfound affinity for the studio may come as a surprise to some.
“Every night, the people who come out to the shows, they have those shows for themselves. But being in the studio, that’s timeless,” he said. “It’s a footprint or a fingerprint. It’s gonna be around long after I’m gone. And it’s gonna be a legacy, hopefully that somebody can look back on and go, like, ‘that’s my grandpa.’ And, hopefully, it’ll be awesome.”
After getting what he considers his first professional recording experience with “Velvet,” the longtime indie musician inked a one-album deal with Entertainment One so he would have more resources to create and catapult “Aviator.”
“They put together radio interviews, cross-country radio tour promotion, and you gotta wake up and do TV stuff ... so there’s just a few more cogs in the wheel, you might say,” LaRue said, adding he didn’t find the deal restrictive to his creative freedom. “I tour 262 days a year, so as far as restrictive is concerned, I’m pretty comfortable with whatever’s thrown at me these days.”
Although he still loves his occupation, the father of four said he is looking to a future in which he hopes he can tour less and make more money.
“That way I can actually feel like I can spend a little bit more time with my children or doing some other extracurricular crafts, as opposed to feeling like I’m spinning my wheels sometimes,” he said. “I’m blessed to be able to do this in the first place, and I’m happy for the opportunity that people get to listen it, that people want to listen to it ... and I feel comfortable and confident that the music’s worthy of being listened to.”