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Good Songs Are Key To Rascal Flatts' Success

Of the Oakland Press

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Since 2000, Rascal Flatts has sold 17 million albums and notched 22 singles on the Billboard country charts — eight of which have gone to No. 1. Add to that a slew of awards, including the Academy of Country Music’s Top Vocal Group for seven years running.

Ask the Columbus, Ohio-formed trio to explain that success, however, and lead singer Gary LeVox says it comes down to one thing.

“Good songs, quality songs,” says LeVox (ne Vernon), 38, who put the group together with his cousin Jay DeMarcus on bass and guitarist Joe Don Rooney. “Sometimes that’s hard to find ‘cause there’s so much stuff on the radio that’s so bland and it all says ... the exact same thing.”

DeMarcus, 37, adds that, “It’s just the natural evolution of being a successful recording band; with every record, the songs get better and better and better.”

Rascal Flatts will display that evolution with the Oct. 28 release of “Greatest Hits, Vol. 1,” which will feature 13 singles and three newly recorded holiday songs — “White Christmas,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and an a capella version of “I’ll Be Home For Christmas.” The group also is slated to appear in the forthcoming “Hannah Montana” movie, which is slated for a 2009 release.

That should be plenty to sate Rascal Flatts’ fans, but LeVox says it won’t likely deter the group from the process of making its next album.

“At the end of the day we try to write and find the best songs that we can,” he explains. “At the place where we’re at now, all the songs that we’re gettin’ pitched are good, so it’s about finding those gems and the great songs so that ... we collectively feel like it’s the best piece of product that we’ve ever put together.”

Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift perform at 8 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 20) at the Palace, Lapeer Road at I-75, Auburn Hills. Tickets are $75 and $52.75. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com.

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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