Upon Rascal Flatts

I couldn’t help but think about how sour grapes can turn into whine when I read this news bit, via City Girl, Country Girl:

Rascal Flatts used their concert in Baltimore on Thursday to take some pot-shots at the Dixie Chicks, who won the Grammy for Country Album of the Year (for which Rascal Flatts was also nominated). The Baltimore Sun reports:

Lead singer Gary LeVox cattily sang the title of the Chicks’ hit “Not Ready to Make Nice” then made a disgusted face.

“The difference is that we love country music,” he said, and the packed house roared.

“How many people were here the last time they were here?” asked bassist Jay DeMarcus. “Oh, the both of you.”

The jokes are easy enough to make. Hell, Country Nation already made the best one, responding to LeVox’s passionate declaration of love for country music: “You should try singing it sometime.” I have trouble even taking seriously the musings of a man who changed his last name to LeVox because it was French for “the voice.”

But the more I thought about it, the more sad the whole situation seemed to me. Here is this band that should be on top of the world. They had the top-selling album last year, ticket sales are brisk, they’re raking in the CMA and ACM and CMT awards. Radio can’t play enough of them. Why be bitter about losing at the Grammys? Heck, you got to sing some Eagles classics with Don Henley himself in the audience. How many kids dream of growing up to be music stars, wishing to be as successful as Rascal Flatts is right now?

Maybe it was reading it at the Dolly Parton of country music blogs, but it reminded me of something Parton wrote in her 1994 autobiography, My Life and Other Unfinished Business:

I have always found it true that the more real talent a person has, the more secure he is in that talent and the less likely he is to be a jerk. Most of the tantrums people throw don’t really come out of anger with others as much as from an insecurity within themselves. Some of the nicest, genuinely warmest people I have dealt with have been those with the greatest talent and success. And some of the biggest jerks have been people on the perimeter of success who have bluffed their way to where they are.

I felt kinda bad for Rascal Flatts when they were invited to announce the Grammy nominations, but ended up listening to the Dixie Chicks rack up the noms in one category after another as they scored only one nomination. But after this rant, I wish to kindly remind the boys that they were lucky to be in that category in the first place. Not only did the Chicks give a better performance, but so did The Wreckers, Little Big Town and The Duhks. If they hadn’t sold so many records, I doubt their Mark Wills cover would’ve gotten even the one nod that it did. After their debacle of a performance of “Hotel California”, I doubt they ever have to worry about gracing a Grammy stage again.

Rascal Flatts, your success has already wildly exceeded your actual talent. You might want to keep your eyes pointed toward the ground and keep your complaints to yourself. Given the actual quality of your music, you should be grateful that anybody is listening to you at all.

Hat Tip: The Widening Geier, for inspiring the title of the post.


  1. When I posted about this is the news roundup the other day I though it’d be a good one to highlight in a full post, but you did a better job than would have. It just baffles me that they’d go out of their way to bring some negative publicity on themselves by bashing other artists for beating them.

    They claim that they love country music, but they don’t sound country and sure as hell don’t look country, it makes me wonder if they even have any country influences or how they got into the country music industry in the first place.

  2. Actually, nothing on the Grammy’s was very country except the Carrie Underwood salute to Bob Wills.

    Why have country artists salute nihilistic trash like the Eagles? Either let them sing their own songs or salute someone important like Merle, Lefty, Hank or Willie

  3. Gary has joked about the Dixie Jerks before. It had nothing to do with the Dixie’s winning a grammy. The grammy thing was totaly political because the Dixie chicks are not popular with very many country music fans. I also have a sneaky suspicion that writer is a flaming liberal. Nothing wrong with that but just admit it. Most conservative media are proud of it and will tell you in a heartbeat. 99% of liberal media will still tell you they are objective. The reality is that 90% of the media votes democrat every 4 years.
    By the way, guess which band sold more albums last year in all the genres combined. You guessed it Rascal Flatts. Not Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood, P Diddy, or Justin Timberlake. I think the Flatts boys are just getting started. Amazing!

  4. Rascall Flatts need to keep their mouth shut. Even though some country Music Fans are not as big of fans of the Dixie Chicks as they once were, people still defend them because they agree with them deep down. Rascall Flatts have shown that they are sore losers.

    Rolling Stone Magazine

  5. Hey Bill,

    I seriously think that Gary was taking a shot at Maines’ attitiude. People forget that Rascal Flatts performed right after Maines made her classless remarks after “winning” Country Album. I know for a fact that RF would never diss anyone musically. For that matter, Toby Keith and Reba McEntire have had run-ins with the Chicks and their poor attitudes in the past few years.

    Oh wait, you’re a writer for a liberal music magazine so you’d be to stupid to recognize that.

  6. you shouldnt write an article like this if you dont know the actual people your writing about. Rascal flatts are very down to earth guys who spend time away from there family to see there fans. They meet with countless amounts of them everynight, at meet and greets and after shows by there buses. Country fans were not happy that the dixie chicks won the grammys for one reason..IT WAS ALL POLITICAL. No one will ever take the grammys seriously after they handed awards out based on politics and not talent. Country fans were pissed and still are, the dixie chicks showed absolutly no remorse for what they said, and turned there back on country when they said they didnt wanna be included in country music. So on behalf of country fans goodbye dixie chicks, considering they’ll probably never release another album since they proved there point.

    If talent was considered Rascal Flatts would of won it, considering they are the biggest group in country music, sold out any other album in all generes, had one of the top grossing tours in 3 years and continues to win support from fans.

    This article sucked.

  7. Amy:

    With all due respect, the word “there” refers to a location, while the word “their” is the possessive which refers to ownership. On the other hand, “your” is a possessive, while “you’re” is a conjunction which shortens the phrase “you are”. I believe you meant to utilize the latter in both cases.

    I will refrain from an argument on the respective merits of the Dixie Chicks and Rascal Flatts, as I think that is a matter of which style of music you prefer. However, if you are going to slander an article on this site, it is probably best to have simple grammatical considerations taken care of first.

    Just one man’s opinion.

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