Nashville, Tenn. may be the capital of country music, but Rascal Flatts escaped the long winter in the southern state to record their new album in sunny Santa Barbara, Calif. Guitarist Joe Don Rooney, one-third of the country trio, told Nashville’s Tennessean newspaper, “It relaxed us. We didn’t have the hustle and bustle of going back home from the studio and being in Nashville in the crazy traffic. We were pretty close to the studio in Santa Barbara and we got to spend 14 to 16 hours a day in the studio … It was a really cool experience!”
Even though Rascal Flatts returned to Nashville refreshed and relaxed, the group was still shocked by the recent announcement made by Disney that the band’s longtime label, Lyric Street, was folding. Lead singer Gary LeVox admitted to The Boot, “It just blindsides us. It was out of the blue. It’s still a little shocking. That was our family for 12 years. It’s just a sad deal.” Disney has yet to make a public announcement about where the country trio will now reside, although they will remain under the Disney umbrella as they prepare for the release of their new album.
LeVox assured fans via The Boot, “We’re still moving full steam ahead and we’re just pumped about the new stuff that we’re cutting.” The lead single off Rascal Flatts’ as-yet-untitled new album is set to arrive this June, the same month in which the group will embark on their Nothing Like This Tour. Rascal Flatts will kick off their tour in Raleigh, N.C. on June 25 and bring opening acts Kellie Pickler and Chris Young with them along for the ride, which wraps up in Boston on Sept. 19.
While on tour, Rascal Flatts will stop by the Rockefeller Plaza studios of NBC’s Today in midtown Manhattan for the morning show’s annual summer concert series. Sponsored by Toyota, the 2010 Today summer concert series will also feature performances by Sting (May 14), the Script (May 21), Justin Bieber (June 4), Christina Aguilera (June 8), James Taylor/Carole King (June 25), Maxwell (June 25), Maroon 5 (July 2), Lady Gaga (July 9), Enrique Iglesias (July 16), John Mayer (July 23), Carrie Underwood (July 30), Train (August 6), Ke$ha (August 13), Keith Urban (August 20) and Katy Perry (August 27). The yet-to-be-determined American Idol winner and runner-up will perform on June 3, the morning after the show’s scheduled finale on Fox, as well.
Today senior producer Melissa Lonner chatted about the upcoming summer concert series with Billboard.com, revealing, “Acts like Rascal Flatts and John Mayer, I have been talking to them since last November and got their dates before the year’s end, because I wanted their date on the plaza to be scheduled into their tour schedule.”