I was in Columbus, Ohio — the birthplace of Rascal Flatts’ Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus — this week. It was just a coincidence that I was there during the release week for their new Rewind album. But I have a feeling there was no better place to be to feel the excitement of their new music. Radio was playing the title track constantly, people were talking about the guys from the band, and someone even took me to Donatos, the band’s favorite pizza place.
But what I really wish I’d had while I was there was some good wine to pair with the new tunes.
The band was in Los Angeles for an acoustic show, wine tasting and release-week party. In an interview for their record label to promote the album, they talked about pairing wine with the songs.
“I’ve got some ideas,” Joe Don Rooney admitted. “I think light wines. Like, a little merlot might be good for like ’Memphis,’ something that’s a little lighter. But then you get something bold that’s blended, like a sauvignon, like maybe a chardonnay or something like that that’s mixed. Maybe some reds and some whites and just throw ’em in a box and see who can drink it down first.”
DeMarcus joked that he’d like to see a boxed wine for “Honeysuckle Lazy” that you could enjoy “just right out of the spigot.”
But wine-and-song pairings aside, what mattered most to the band about this album was finding songs that touched them.
“We cut songs that touch us because if they don’t touch us first, there’s no way in the world we’re going to be able to sell those songs to somebody else,” DeMarcus said. “Gary is a terrible, terrible faker. If he gets in the booth and doesn’t whole-heartedly believe in a song, he’s gonna have a tough time delivering it. And that’s not to slight him as a singer, but he’s gotta feel it in his soul before he delivers it.”