It's Official. Rascal Flatts is Done. For Now.
Rascal Flatts.jpg

Jay DeMarcus / Joe Don Rooney / Gary LeVox

There was a time when vocal trio Rascal Flatts defined the pioneering role of safe, pale mainstream pop country. From the start, they felt more like a contemporary Christian group recording secular music as opposed to anything resembling a country act. So the band's disorderly breakup was pretty shocking.

These days, the valuation of Rascal Flatts' music is resurrected for some by both nostalgia and the fact that some of today's "country" stars like Dan + Shay took what Rascal Flatts started and somehow did Shade softer and safer. Some are now praying for the days when the bloodthirsty, pale, harmless music and frosty lace hairstyles of Rascal Flatts were the worst to deal with in the "country" area.

But it seems the band won't be returning, at least for the foreseeable future. In January 2020 they announced a farewell tour for the first time, with a wink and a nod that they could return at any time, as is often the case after “farewell” tours. However, the tour was later postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, although they still had plans to meet deadlines after the pandemic subsided.

Now the underlying problem for the band seems to be guitarist Joe Don Rooney. Rascal Flatts was founded in 1999 in a nightclub in the Printer’s Alley neighborhood of Nashville. Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus were second cousins ​​from Columbus, Ohio, and guitarist Joe Don Rooney was from Oklahoma. Rooney stepped in behind the two relatives one night, and soon they were performing as a trio.

In a recent interview, lead singer Gary LeVox revealed that the problem with fulfilling the planned farewell tour or any future plans is indeed Rooney.

“I never approved of how it ended. I never agreed to it. I wasn't happy that Joe Don quit. It kind of came out of nowhere, ”said Gary LeVox. "It was like, 'Let me try to deal with this." And then I was certainly not okay with the pandemic that canceled everything. I hate how it ended I hate that we couldn't do this farewell tour. I can't stand the fact that it just feels like there's no graduation from something we're so blessed with. It will always stay in my heart. "

Joe Don Rooney was arrested for DUI at 4:00 a.m. on September 9 in Franklin, Tennessee, after his vehicle crashed into a tree. At the time, many wondered why someone drove drunk from their wealth and stature. But maybe there are other concerns. A public apology is normally expected from a public figure after such an incident. But now, over five weeks later, no one has come. In fact, Joe Don Rooney deleted his social media profiles and went dark.

"I haven't spoken to him," says Gary LeVox of Joe Don Rooney. “And I was heartbroken too. But, you know what? I think God gets your attention in different ways. I wish him only the best and hope that he gets everything he needs to get well and take care of any problems he may have. There is power in prayer. "

Gary LeVox then started a career in contemporary Christian music and recently released a new single "Working on Sunday", an album is on the way and a planned tour for 2022. Bassist / vocalist Jay DeMarcus started a side project in 2019 called Red Street Records and proclaimed himself CEO. Since then he has been pouring himself into the project completely.

No matter what you think of Rascal Flatts' music or their infamous hairstyles, you can't help but worry about Joe Don Rooney, who has been the Ryman Auditorium since 25.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here