It was a pleasure to be with Rascal Flatts as the country superstar group honored the eighty (!) songwriters who have contributed to their last six albums by the Musician's Hall of Fame in Nashville on Feb. 3.
Before the event started off with a night of classic performances including Thom Schuyler with his hit "16th Avenue," UsMagazine.com caught up with band members Gary Le Vox, Jay DeMarcus and Joe Don Rooney for their take on the homage.
UsMagazine.com: What does this night mean to you?
LeVox: "Tonight means the world to us because after 10 years we wanted to get everybody in here. It starts and ends with a great song. And we wanted to get all the songwriters in one room. Tell them all 'Thank you.' We look forward to the next 10 years."
Us: How did your Grammy wins pave the way for other country stars, like Taylor Swift?
DeMarcus: "We feel a little bit responsible for paving the way for some of them new pop country-ish acts that are out now. We are very proud that country has a wider appeal than just within the country marketplace. People are starting to discover we're doing some pretty cool thing over here and that's a good thing to see. Any time you can bring in new fans over that normally wouldn't listen to country music, it's just a great thing for all of us. We're very proud of Taylor, Lady Antebellum and the Zac Brown Band [this year's Best New Artist winner] and all these people having success outside of our genre."
Don Rooney: "What's really good to see is the Grammys actually embrace mainstream country music a little bit more. Country music is great -- all varieties of it -- but in the past years [the Grammys] honed a little more on the traditional country music. That's totally good and well, because there's a lot of good stuff out there."