Rascal Flatts at the Musicians Hall of Fame, cheering on the songwriters who wrote many of their biggest hits. Photo by Chris Hollo, courtesy of Lyric Street Records.
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.”
Jo Dee Messina photo courtesy of jodeemessina.com.
Behind on your holiday shopping already? You probably won’t get much sympathy from Jo Dee Messina. Despite the fact that she spent large chunks of November away from home on tour, she’s already got the decorations up at her house — and she’s been tending to a sick husband as she enjoys her first Christmas as a mom.
If that’s not enough, she’s packing even more into the first week of December as she does the season up big-time. Jo Dee’s part of a new round of talent announced for Wednesday’s annual NBC special “Christmas In Rockefeller Center,” which puts her in the company of Rod Stewart, Rob Thomas, Barry Manilow, Aretha Franklin, Michael Buble and Alicia Keys.
And topping off the week, Jo Dee’s got a pair of fundraising concerts on tap Saturday at the Brentwood United Methodist Church in Middle Tennessee. The shows are officially free, though she’s asking for donations, with all proceeds from the door — and from merchandise sales — earmarked for Harvest Hands, a community organization dedicated to an impoverished neighborhood in Nashville. She’s a firm believer in the program, particularly because its director is passionately involved 24/7.