As the band celebrates 10 years of making hits, Rascal Flatts found a unique way Wednesday to recognize some of the people behind their success, throwing a party in which some of the songwriters who created their hits took the stage to sing them for the band.
Held at the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville, the event featured performances of eight Flatts hits — including “Mayberry,” “Fast Cars And Freedom,” “Prayin’ For Daylight” and “Bless The Broken Road” — by such writers as Jeff Hanna, Marcus Hummon, Neil Thrasher, Steve Bogard and Wendell Mobley. The band prepared special plaques for all 77 composers who’ve contributed to their multi-platinum cache.
“These are guys we’ve had history with for 10 years, you know, so it’s awesome to get a little spotlight on them for a change instead of sittin’ at one of our houses in pajamas tryin’ to write somethin’,” Flatts vocalist Gary LeVox says. “It’s been a while since we’ve seen ‘em. Of course, we’re all out on tour, they’re doin’ their thing, and we wanted to bring everybody together and just tell ‘em thanks.”
Honoring the writers is “typical of them,” says Danny Orton, who co-wrote “Stand.” “They’re very thankful for everything that’s happened to them, and if they think somebody deserves recognition, they wanna make sure they get it. And they appreciate the songwriters.”
There was an entry fee, sort of… The writers were each asked to submit two songs apiece for consideration for Rascal Flatts’ next album, which they’ve begun recording.
“We weren’t just throwin’ this party to be nice!” Jay DeMarcus laughs.
“Hopefully,” Joe Don Rooney adds, “those songs go into play for the next 10 years of Rascal Flatts. To be sittin’ here 20 years lookin’ back and doin’ the same thing would be awesome.”
The writers are happy to oblige with new material. After all, a Rascal Flatts cut is a source of income, and if it becomes a single, it’s significant money. Plus, there’s the creative satisfaction of hearing the band’s harmonies applied to one of their songs.
“I thought our demo was pretty good,” songwriter Blair Daly says of “Stand,” “until I heard the record. They just went above and beyond.”
Rascal Flatts’ “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” episode is set to air March 4. This weekend, they’re joined by Darius Rucker for three shows on their Unstoppable Tour: Thursday in Evansville, Ind.; Friday in Detroit; and Saturday in Dayton, Ohio.