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NASHVILLE, TN - SEPTEMBER 09: AMC Honorees Gary LeVox, Joe Don Rooney, and Jay DeMarcus of Rascal Flatts pose with Tim Tebow (second from right) backstage at the 8th Annual ACM Honors at Ryman Auditorium on September 9, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for ACM)

With July 4th approaching, artists from coast to coast are warming up their vocal chords in preparation to deliver the national anthem. Rascal Flatts have done the honors from time to time and are sharing some insight on what it takes and why it’s important.

The guys have performed the “Star Bangled Banner” countless times, but they still get excited. “We’ve done kind of the same arrangement for quite a long time now and maybe once a year,” Joe Don Rooney says through the groups record label. “Gary can probably speak to this better than me [since] he has to sing the bulk of it, but there’s nothing better for myself personally. I think I speak for the whole band, but it’s just incredible to sing our nation’s anthem. There’s a little pressure there obviously but there’s excitement. It’s almost like you want to get in there like you’re playing in a game. You just want to be in the moment. And so it’s invigorating. It’s empowering. You just hope you do a good job and deliver.”

And despite years of practice, doing a good job can be tricky.  “Yeah, don’t start too high,” Gary LeVox adds. “That’s the key. And don’t forget the words … [Your can get] in trouble because you’ve got one shot. It’s a lot of pressure but it’s fun to challenge yourself.”

No word on yet on where the trio might perform the anthem this Independence Day, but they’ve got a long list of regular concert dates planned for the coming weeks. Nevada, Arkansas, Delware and Ohio are all in the cards this summer. See a complete list of dates here.


Teddy McDonald is a fun-lovin’ country music fan man living in Nashville, Tennessee.