Gary LeVox Opens Up About His Solo Career, Hints That New Music In The Works
“If this new chapter is as good as the last chapter, I mean, I don’t know what else I can wish for,” the singer shared.
Gary LeVox; Photo Provided
Despite the demise of the Rascal Flatts trio, front man Gary LeVox has never put down his passion for music. While he is no longer working with his former bandmates, Jon Don Rooney and Jay DeMarcus, LeVox is exploring a new side of his career with a solo venture.
In 2020, the band was slated to embark on a farewell tour, however, the global health crisis forced them to cancel the entire run. The dates for the farewell tour were never rescheduled.
Since then, LeVox has released a solo gospel EP titled, One On One, and dropped several singles including his latest country tune, “Get Down Like That,” which is also the name of his current headlining tour that features special guest, Temecula Road.
While making a stop at Joe’s Live in Rosemont, IL on Thursday, April 28, LeVox stepped on stage in front of a packed crowd and performed a career-spanning setlist. He held a close connection with the audience throughout the entire night as he delivered a slew of the hits that spawned from Rascal Flatts including “Bless The Broken Road,” “Life Is A Highway,” “What Hurts The Most,” “My Wish,” “I Like The Sound Of That” and more. Plus, he also got to showcase a bit from his growing solo collection.
Before the show, the iconic singer/songwriter sat down with Country Now to discuss the current chapter of his career, what to expect from his next set of releases, the legacy of Rascal Flatts that remains in fans around the world, incorporating faith into his music, and more.
You’re just at the start of your current headlining Get Down Like That Tour, but how have the first few shows been so far?
Incredible. It’s sold out, everybody’s pumped. I’m so excited. And it’s just great. Live music is back and I’m glad to be standing up there on that stage.
Temecula Road is joining you on this tour as a special guest. What has it been like getting to work with them?
It’s been great. They did some shows with me last year too. They’re just awesome people, love ’em both. And they’re fun and exciting, and they get the club thing. So they’re great. I wish ’em the best and it’s gonna be a fun tour.
The trek is named after your latest release, “Get Down Like That.” What led you to want to record this song?
So, Rusty Gaston, the president of Sony [Music Publishing], I had called Rusty cause I’ve been on Sony for 20 some years. So I called Rusty and said, ‘man, I need an up tempo. I’m looking for an up-tempo Summer [song].’ He sent me three songs and that was the first one. And I was like, ‘okay. Checked that box.’ I knew HARDY wrote it ’cause I could tell HARDY was singing it, so I called those guys, Thomas Rhett, and was like, ‘why didn’t you guys cut this?’ They’re like, ‘man, we had too many of our tempo stuff, you know? We kind of wrote it after Thomas did his’ and I was like, ‘I’m glad cause I’m cutting it.’
Going back a bit to the beginning of your solo career, what was that transition like for you going from a trio to a solo artist?
Well, I mean, it was a little nerve-wracking at first cause when Joe Don left in ‘19, you know, it was kind of like, ‘okay, now what do we do?’ So you’re just kind of trying to picture everything, trying to put things together, and then Covid happens and then you’re like, ‘well now it’s not about music, now it’s about surviving or what happens next.’ And I have two daughters that were asking me questions that I don’t have answers to. So it was that kind of thing. And I always wanted to put out a gospel EP and we were so busy with Flatts all the time. It was a tour to an album, a tour to an album, a tour to tv, the album to tv. So it was just nonstop for two decades, you know? And at that time I was like, ‘You know what? I have nothing but time, so I’m gonna absolutely do it.’ And it was weird how that worked out ’cause you know, when God’s got his hand on it, things just happen. I was just going to cut a gospel EP, well it turned out to be like a whole duets thing. I was like, ‘well that’s weird.’ Me and Bart Millard, MercyMe, did one…we had a number one with Tauren Wells with ‘Until Grace,’ then my daughter and I were on one, then me and BRELAND wrote one in like 15 minutes. I was like, ‘okay, well we’ll just keep going.’ Then I was like, ‘alright, I feel like I got some solid footing now.’ I feel like the stage is what God’s called me to do, you know? And I couldn’t wait to do a country thing, and country single’s out, I got another one coming out, the fall’s gonna be great. So it was a little nerve-wracking and then, scary and then, everything just kind of settled down. I did that gospel piece and I was like, ‘yeah, I’m not done.’
Even though the band isn’t together anymore, how does it feel knowing that the legacy still lives on in these dedicated fans who have developed such a connection to the music?
Well, it’s just, it’s amazing. I mean, I think that to have so many songs with so many songwriters, you know, grateful that I was a part of writing a bunch of those that were just timeless. I mean, as an artist, you hope maybe one sticks or two sticks. There’s a lot of songs that are good and then you never, you know, they don’t have that kind of impact. But to have people still go, ‘your songs are the soundboard of my life,’ it is just amazing the time that we put in to try to really pick and write and, you know, create music that will last forever. And when it does, it’s kind of a weird thing, but that’s what you always hope for as an artist.
Now that you’re in this new venture, what are you hoping to accomplish that you may not have had the chance to before?
If this new chapter is as good as the last chapter, I mean, I don’t know what else I can wish for. I still pinch myself, you know, so I mean, I don’t know. I think that the main thing is just to be able to create music still that touches people’s lives and just create timeless stuff that tells their story and has hope and healing and sadness and all of it. I just want to cut, and write songs that everybody can relate to. That’s pretty much the goal.
How does it feel to see messages or hear stories from fans who tell you how much these songs have truly impacted and touched their lives?
It’s hard to wrap your head around really to have that kind of impact. I mean, it really is. I wish there were words to describe it. It’s like last week, there’s a girl that she said she was dying of food, that’s where she turned to, was food. She lost 184 pounds. She woke up every day and said instead of turning to food, and she put my song on, ‘The Distance,’ and just started walking and she gave her life to Christ. So she’s down 184 pounds. ‘The Distance’ was, you know, It wasn’t like ‘Bless The Broken Road’ or ‘My Wish,’ but you just never know what song was meant for that one person. So those kind of stories just, you go, ‘wow, I’m so glad you told me cause I would’ve had no idea.’ You always hear that music is medicine, and so when you hear the stories, you go, ‘yeah, yes it is.’ So I’d like to write a bunch of more of those.
You mentioned how you have some new music coming in the fall. Is there anything more that you could share about that?
Oh, no, no. It’s gonna be really good though. It’s gonna be really, really good. I’ll probably come out with another up-tempo thing and then the fall, you just wait and see.
Do you also have plans to record more Gospel music in the future?
Yes, ’cause I’ve always kind of dabbled in it and it’s just a part of who I am, but yeah, always. There’ll be something in there for sure. There’s stuff brewing.
Why is it important to you to incorporate your faith and that aspect of your life into your music?
I mean, just growing up in the church and I’ve had such a solid foundation in my life with my family and my faith and my relationship with Jesus, and you know that’s who I am and that’s the only reason that any anything has happened positive in my life. I give God all the glory and all the credit for that. Cause when I’m staying on that stage and I’m singing and all that stuff, that’s not me. I mean, I haven’t had a voice lesson. God just kind of, I think just went, ‘okay, here’s what I want you to do.’ And I was like, ‘okay.’ It took me till I was 28 to figure it out, but God’s timing’s perfect, right? So that’s always been…and I remember listening to like, ‘I Won’t Let Go,’ that song, and I didn’t even think about a relationship. When I first heard the demo, it was almost like the Lord saying, ‘listen, I won’t let you go.’ That’s what it meant to me and I was like, ‘oh, wait a minute…Oh yeah. Oh it is.’ So the whole universal thing, you know? I was like, oh, okay, yeah. It could be relationship; it could be all that. So anything that I have, he gets all the glory for that cause it’s all him, not me.
Gary LeVox’s Get Down Like That Tour continues throughout the month of May. Click HERE to view a complete list of his upcoming tour dates.
Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.