Rascal Flatts Biography

Review The Artist (62)


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The origins of the group begin with co-founders, Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus, second cousins and close friends from Columbus, Ohio. "I grew up in a very musical family," says Jay DeMarcus about his musical roots. "My earliest memories are of us sitting around the living room on Friday and Saturday nights and everybody coming around to the house and picking up whatever instrument was laying around and playing music all night long." "My story is almost the same as Jay's," says Gary LeVox. "I have a very musical family, both my dad and my mom. Our mothers were cousins but close as sisters. We spent a lot of weekends at Jay's house as kids, doing kid stuff and making music."

Growing up in Picher, Oklahoma, Joe Don Rooney's musical influences first came from his brother and sisters. "They were all into music when I was growing up so I went through a lot of different musical genres," Joe Don explains. But he got his mainstream country experience in Grove, OK. "There was a show called the Grand Lake Opry, believe it or not. Kind of like the Grand Ole Opry. It was really cool. When I was nineteen I worked there and every month we'd have a Grand Ole Opry star from Nashville, like Porter Wagoner, Connie Smith and Merle Haggard, come down to sing and perform."

In 1992, Jay DeMarcus packed up his music skills (vocals, bass, guitar, keyboards, mandolin and more), and was the first to move to Nashville. In 1997, Jay finally convinced his cousin Gary LeVox to give up his day-job back in Columbus and bring his incredible voice to Nashville. "When Gary moved to Nashville, we started writing together," says Jay. "We caught up on lost time. We sang every chance we got. We just hit it hard. We'd stay up endless nights writing music and playing together."

Jay and Joe Don met when they got jobs last year in Chely Wright's band. Meanwhile, the cousins were also gigging in Nashville's infamous Printers Alley with a part time guitarist. When their guitarist couldn't make it to a show one weekend, Jay invited Joe Don to sit in with them. None of them expected the magic that would make Joe Don a permanent member of the band. "That night really worked out special," Joe Don recalls.

Jay knew that I sing high and he had been taking the high part above Gary the whole time they had been singing together. That night, he decided to take the low fifth." Jay pipes in, "I was happy to take the low fifth. I heard Joe Don open his mouth and I was like, "thank you, Jesus!" And, the first night that we sang together, we stopped and looked at each other on-stage, like -- that was kind of cool, let's do that again! It really, really was magical. We honestly didn't have to work hard at it. It was so natural and so much fun."

The trio went into the studio and recorded some rough demos with Bright and Williams that were played for producer Dann Huff. Even though Huff was not involved with the project, he was so excited by Rascal Flatts' powerful vocal harmonies and stellar musicianship that he called Lyric Street Records' Senior VP of AandR, Doug Howard, and said, "You have to hear this group." Four days later Lyric Street had completed demos in their hands and a new group to sign.

It is impossible to pinpoint just one element that makes Rascal Flatts' music so special. "We just really jelled because of our influences; pop, RandB, country, gospel, bluegrass roots," says Joe Don. "We've always liked to try to be different, even if we were just playing at some little dive," Jay explains. "When someone listens to Rascal Flatts, they're going to hear a lot of harmony, a lot of funkiness because we love to groove.

It's so encouraging for us to see country music going more that direction." "We felt like Lyric Street really had a great grasp on the way that country music was going with SHeDAISY," Gary continues, "and from the beginning we felt like we wanted to be there because of that." And Lyric Street has the power of Disney behind them," adds Jay, "which is really exciting."

Rascal Flatts is the perfect New Millennium group signed to the most forward-looking new label in Nashville. They were deeply influenced by musical family roots that stretch back to the beginnings of country music itself, and they were influenced by music-making parents and siblings that passed on the contemporary country influences of the latter part of the century. What Jay, Gary and Joe Don have done is add all their individual influences and creativity to a potent, new musical brew seasoned by all that made country music great in the 20th Century, yet is immediately as fresh and exciting as the 21st Century.

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hey its tyler | Reviewer: Anonymous | 2/2/13

man i was wowed back in 2009 my freshman year first song was from time to time, i loved it now im a big fan of rascal flatts now im a senior in high school i own all there songs, gary, jay, and joe don.. i love u guys yah

cousin | Reviewer: alex k. | 12/10/12

Hey!! It's Alex:) I'm 12 and ur my 2nd cousin I think...? Yea we are the kirks and if u r reading this, which u r probably not, I just wanted to say hi. Tell Brittany I said hi, also.
~Alex:)

to my idol rascal flatts(gary leVox) and his crew:) | Reviewer: destiny lockhart | 10/4/12

when i first heard rascal flatts i was 7 years old imm 11 now, ever since i hear god bless the broken road i was idolized. i write music now and sing im good too, but gary leVox is the reason i write and sing. hes my idol and always will be thanks rascal flatts:)

the best band ever in this galaxy | Reviewer: Kat | 1/30/12

hey rascal flatts i freaking love u. i really love u and i wish that i could see u in person that would be the best the in the world:)but the way the family lives there is no way in the world we could even afford 1 ticket:( i know every word on every song that u guys have ever made and i own every album that u have ade even the ones from back in the day from my mom nd i love it:)))))))))))))))))))))

Favorite Band | Reviewer: Song | 7/15/11

Rascal Flatts are awesome. I never really had a favorite band or singer before but after I heard them a couple of times, you bet I had a fav band! Gary, Jay and JD are sooo great! They are so good together it's like magic ^^ I still watch vids that they recorded 9 years ago! And of course I watch vids that come out this year :D

:) | Reviewer: maduda | 5/5/11

The song you are the best, most perfect. I am moved
honestly when I hear the voice of Gary touches me more than any voice
world. I keep up with that silly. I wish all the best to you, that make each
more and more success as they deserve. Congratulations

U guys are the best Xx | Reviewer: Chloe ford | 9/1/10

Hey my name is chloe nd i live in england i think that ur music is amazing i love how much emotion u put into ur songs. I feel like i can related to a majority of ur songs. My boyfriend was the person who got me into ur songs. As soon as i heard u guys i loved u, nd now i cant stop listenin to ur songs they are fantastic. In a major fan. Xx

cousin | Reviewer: lauren | 7/29/10

hi. me and my mom love your music. my whole family says that me and my cousins are your cousins. but it would be far relations. like tenth cousin or so. i wish i could meet u. i am 11 years old. my favorite song of yours is bob that head. when i was younger i could sing every word without the music. now i need the music. so, i wonder if i am your cousin. that would be pretty cool. you wouild most defantly be the most coolest cousin. i do not have many cousins though. i have two older ones. to babies. and one about my age.

rascal flatts <3 | Reviewer: sydney | 7/9/10

Awww. Your songs are the best. the mean alot to me. when i am listing to them they make me think of my boyfriend. Your songs make the world to me and that take alot but when i listen to your songs it just take on song to make my day but no one else can do that. i luv all of ur songs but i like one that is my best god bless the broken road. i was watching the singing bee and ur songs were on and i was singing to them and i got all of them rite that is so kool u want to go see yall sing that will make my life play send me tickets plz i luv u

Luv u guys | Reviewer: Melanie | 5/18/10

I love u guys ur so amazing!!!! I just went 2ur concert nd it was sooooo great (even though I had msuckish sits). I diddnt know songs could mean so much 2me. I play guitar nd I pretty much know all ur songs on it . I hope I can play with u guys some day! Luv u nd keep playing

dear rascal flatts <3 | Reviewer: jessica | 4/29/10

you guys mean the world to me!!! i literly know every single song of your!!! :D there is not 1 song that i don't like! i love every single one of them! I never realize that music can explain how life and everything is. your sogs inspire me to go on in life and to love what I have! when i'm sad or down.. i know a lot of your songs to cheer me up! i wish i could meet you guys so badly! i would do anything just to drop everthing and come see you guys! i've always wanted to come to one of your concerts! next time when you come in town!i am DEFFINITLY coming to your concert! i love you guys SO MUCH! you NUMBER 1 BIGGEST FAN! JESSICA (: <3

Rascal Flatts fanatic | Reviewer: Kayla | 3/12/10

ok so when i was born i grew up listening to this group and i freaking love these guys i have a very big addiction to this group i have almost every cd every published by them i listen to them everywhere i go I LOVE THEM SO SO SO MUCH!!!!!! i am planning to go to my first rascal flatts concert and i am very very very excited!!!

rascal flatts is the best bant in the galexy | Reviewer: Amanda R. Barker | 3/7/10

Rascal flatts are a huge rolmodle 2 me because b4 i heard there songs i thought that life was borong. But now i want to be a singer (even though i am only 14). If i had the chance 2 meet rascal flatts i would b really speachless and frozen of happyness. If rascal flatts ever came 2 my house i would freak out (maby pass out lol) but anyway there songs r like inspyering songs and i memerised every word of every song. Also if i meet rascal flatts i would tell them how much there songs help me keep my dream alive (because of them) I have always hopped that i would meet them or go 2 1 of there conserts but i can tell by the way my family lives i never will. :( I am hopping that 1 day i an go 2 1 of there concerts. Thats all i got 2 say. PEACE OUT PEEPS! lol i couldnt resist. (sorry if i spelled anything wrong. i cant spell that well)

rascal flatts is the best bant in the galexy | Reviewer: Amanda R. Barker | 3/7/10

Rascal flatts are a huge rolmodle 2 me because b4 i heard there songs i thought that life was borong. But now i want to be a singer (even though i am only 14). If i had the chance 2 meet rascal flatts i would b really speachless and frozen of happyness. If rascal flatts ever came 2 my house i would freak out (maby pass out lol) but anyway there songs r like inspyering songs and i memerised every word of every song. Also if i meet rascal flatts i would tell them how much there songs help me keep my dream alive (because of them) I have always hopped that i would meet them or go 2 1 of there conserts but i can tell by the way my family lives i never will. :( I am hopping that 1 day i an go 2 1 of there concerts. Thats all i got 2 say. PEACE OUT PEEPS! lol i couldnt resist. (sorry if i spelled anything wrong. i cant spell that well)

rascall flatts wannabe | Reviewer: alyssa olson | 11/27/09

ok now i LOVE!!!!!! rascal flatts and thats the truth......i wish that i could become a singer but who knows.... i am only 12 so i have some time. ok i luv u guys. i wish i had ur cd's but i only have 2 of 'em. but the good thing is that i know ALL the words to ALL the songs (that i have). thanxs SOOOOOOOOO much u guys.


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