Rascal Flatts Previews Stellar Tracks From ‘Back To Us’ On Westin Rooftop

Pictured (L-R): Brian Wolf (Maverick Management), Joe Don Rooney, Scott Borchetta (BMLG), Gary LeVox, Clarence Spalding (Maverick Management), Jay DeMarcus. Photo: Katie Kauss

On the eve of their 10th studio album release, Back To Us, superstar vocal group Rascal Flatts performed for a private industry and fan event atop Nashville’s Westin L27 Rooftop.

Among Thursday’s (May 18) crowd were songwriters who contributed many of the project’s titles in addition to Big Machine Label Group’s A&R maven Allison Jones, who received several shout-outs.

“Throughout the years we have been fortunate to get our hands on some of the best songs from the best songwriters in the world, and they live right here in Nashville,” said Jay DeMarcus. “We really couldn’t do it without you so thank you. And thank you for supporting us for 18 years.”

“So let’s get back to writing for album 11,” quipped Gary LeVox before leading in to “Life is a Highway,” the group’s only previously released title they performed, which was also not written by Nashville writers.

“Did anyone else see the irony in big speech about the greatest songwriters and we go in to ‘Life is a Highway?'” admitted a humorous DeMarcus after the performance.

“It takes about two years to birth a CD baby,” noted Joe Don Rooney. “A big thank you to Allison Jones, Scott Borchetta and the whole label staff who allowed us the autonomy to take our time.”

Rascal Flatts Back To Us album release party. Photo: Katie Kauss

The lighthearted performance on this beautiful, balmy late spring evening featured album standouts, including the project’s first single “Yours if You Want It” (Andrew Dorff, Jonathan Singleton), “Back To Us” (Cary Barlowe, David Hodges, Josh Thompson) and “Vandalized” (Luke Laird, Chris Stapleton), which Levox remarked, “Chris Stapleton sang the demo on this one and it was a little intimidating.”

“It’s tough with great singers like Chris, or even Shay [Mooney, who was in the audience and has two cuts on Back To Us],” continued DeMarcus on a continued humorous note. “You get the demos in and you go, ‘I don’t know if that [song] is a piece of shit and its so great the way they sang it…'”

The event also featured “I Know You Won’t,” a Steve McEwan, Wendell Lee Mobley and Neil Thrasher cut, which Carrie Underwood had previously recorded on her second studio album. “This is a great song and always has been,” commented DeMarcus. “A lot of people don’t realize this but it was pitched to us way back in the day. We for some reason said no to it. Gary was somewhere with Wendell and Wendell was playing it on his acoustic and said, ‘I got a new demo and think you guys should cut this song.’ It’s an incredible song with an incredible lyric and great melody. I love it when Mr. LeVox gets ahold of a song like this.”


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