Rascal Flatts toasted the release day of its new album, Rewind, with a completely unique event Tuesday (May 13) in Hollywood, Calif. at Avalon Hollywood, located at the legendary intersection Hollywood & Vine. The project’s 13 cuts include the title track, which hit No. 1 on the MusicRow CountryBreakout Chart on April 3. The Deluxe version includes an additional 4 original songs. An extravagant dinner preceded a concert by the band. One hundred percent of ticket sales for the event will be donated to the Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville.
Big Machine Records, in partnership with Citi Private Pass, offered VIP attendees a luxury listening experience, treating them to a seated dinner in the Mezzanine outdoor atrium of Avalon. World-renowned wine maker Michael Hendry of Hendry Ranch Wines served as the host, on what turned out to be one of L.A.’s hottest days this year.
While enjoying a six-course meal of artisan cheeses, grilled California prawns, farro and baby kale salad, local sea bass, pepper crusted New York strip and a chocolate ganache finish, Hendry walked the invited guests through the album song-by-song, pairing fine wines from his vineyard with the mood of each track.
The pairings were as unique as the songs. A 2011 Hendry Blocks 7 & 22 Zinfandel was paired with “Payback,” the first track on the album which draws in and hooks the listener, much like the red raspberry fruit and classic spice of the wine which is one of the winery’s most popular offerings. “Rewind” was joined with the 2010 Hendry Pinot Noir due to the softer tone of the wine and from its grape that grew more than 2000 years ago—a play on the word “rewind.” The song “Riot” was appropriately paired with the 2012 Hendry Pinot Gris due to the wine’s soft, gentle currants balanced with substance and meaning. As each song finished, a new round of tastings were offered until all 13 songs had been sampled both with the ears and on the lips.
Coming straight from a performance on The Voice, band members Gary LeVox, Jay DeMarcus, and Joe Don Rooney greeted the VIPs saying, “We are so thrilled to have the Rewind album out. It’s taken us over a year and half to make the record and we put our heart and soul into it. Today has been huge. We’ve let 17 of our babies leave the house. We are empty nesters now.”
Afterwards, the select guests spent time with Rascal Flatts for photo ops and a short gabfest before heading downstairs to the main theatre for a performance.
Joining a packed house of Citi members and contest winners who were also celebrating the release with food and wine tastings in the performance hall, the combined party goers listened as Rascal Flatts performed a short set including “Payback,” “Riot,” “Rewind,” “Broken Road” and “Cumberland Road.” All Access’ RJ Curtis emceed, helping the band bring a few well-placed jokes to a thoroughly entertaining evening.