Rascal Flatts: Joe Don Rooney (vocals, electric guitar); Jay (vocals, bass guitar); Gary (vocals).
Additional personnel: Jerry McPherson, Tom Bukovac (electric guitar); Paul Franklin (steel guitar); Jonathan Yudkin (banjo, mandolin, fiddle); Tim Akers (accordion, keyboards, synthesizer); Steve Nathan , Gordon Mote (piano, Hammond b-3 organ); Lonnie Wilson (drums).
If anyone in the 21st century still thinks that country music is all HEE HAW hillbilly tunes, one listen to Rascal Flatts's FEELS LIKE TODAY proves that nothing could be further from the truth. More Backstreet Boys than Buck Owens, Rascal Flatts are in may ways the musical embodiment of the true New South; these boys may acknowledge their place in a rural history, but they're just as likely to be watching basketball as rodeo riding. Throughout, lead singer Gary Levox shows off his finely honed contemporary-R&B-esque vocal chops, giving even Usher a run for his money. The production style is suitably bright and punchy, with every twanging Telecaster lick, cracking snare, and sparkling cymbal crash perfectly in place. The group is at its best on the power ballads ("The Day Before You," "Bless the Broken Road"), when the music's Nashville heart, urban sheen, and Levox's yearning vocals mesh in just the right quantities to please an unusually wide cross-section of listeners.