As the world of country music fights to stay traditional in its own rights, younger artists are popping up with a new pop feel that has the older guys scratching their collective heads. Out of the dust rides in three boy-band type guys that seem to be making waves in Nashville and abroad. Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney, and Jay DeMarcus, better known as Rascal Flatts, have turned some heads in the country world.
The trio has come a long way from doing small gigs in Printer’s Alley in Nashville to playing for well over 750,000 people last year on their world wide headlining tour. From their self-titled debut album released in June of 2000, Rascal Flatts daunted an impressive 3 top tens and a number one single “Praying for Daylight”. Several nominations for CMA’s and ACM’s followed that same year.
One of my favorites from that release was “I’m Moving On”, which itself was one of the for mentioned top 10 singles and has continued to do well over all. In 2002, the guys collaborated on their second and very highly awaited release simply titled “Melt”. The follow up to their first release earned them the 2002 Horizon Award and was the first co-produced album by all three members of the group. This album continued the trend of several top tens and a couple number ones. One of which spent three weeks in the top spot entitled “These Days”.
That same year again proved to be a good year for the trio when they went on tour with one of country music’s bad boys – Toby Keith. The next year, 2003, found the guys out on the road with Brooks and Dunn. As the tour was getting hot and the guys were putting it all out there, they released a double cd/dvd package that revealed the highlights of that year’s tour and included hits from their old releases as well as some classic jams picked from their earlier influences. Among the remakes were Foreplay/Long Time, made popular by the group Boston, and Free Ride, another classic rock favorite.
As the wild ride continued for Rascal Flatts, 2004 had to be the real start of a true career that they could sit back and recognize what their hard work and dedication had earned them. Realizing their front man’s true vocal range and emotion, their next album had a more heart-felt and highly emotional feel, showing their music’s true strengths. “Feels Like Today” has to be one of the best over-all albums they’ve produced thus far in their music career. It held the top spot for several weeks with singles like the title track “Feels Like Today” and “Fast Cars and Freedom”, and coming in at number two at its highest point was “Skin (Sarabeth)”, a very sad ballad with a happily-ever-after type ending.
This album took them one step higher and gained them Grammy nods for 2005 and countless other country music awards that year. “Feels Like Today” debuted at number one on both the country and pop charts and was the best selling album of 2005. Other accolades that came from this release included Billboard Magazines Artist of the Year, as well as Artist of the Year with Radio and Records – the two largest charts in the music and entertainment field. As for 2006, the trio put out its latest piece of ear candy titled “Me and My Gang”.
Though it hasn’t been out very long, its first single “What Hurts The Most” has already risen to the top spot on the charts delving deeper and deeper into the heart and soul. I’m sure this album will continue to produce top tens and make several number one bids, as well as the rest of their material has done in the past. Be on the lookout for this trio coming to your city. Give any of their material a try. I’m sure you won’t be disappointed.