010 – Jim Riley: Music Director and Drummer for Rascal Flatts, Humble Beginnings in Nashville, Author
For over 15 years Jim Riley has been the drummer for the hugely successful country group Rascal Flatts. After earning a degree in music education from North Texas, Jim found his way to Nashville in pursuit of higher musical goals. In pursuit of these goals, Jim shares with us his story of determination and perseverance. After establishing his drumming skills among his peers in Nashville, Jim quickly found himself with his first artist gig working with Mark Chestnut. As the group Rascal Flatts was beginning to take shape, Jim was asked to be the drummer. In spite of the newness of the group and its ground breaking pop style, Jim saw it as great opportunity and a risk worth taking. Within the first two years, Jim found himself in the position of musical director for Rascal Flatts and continues to maintain that position in the group. Jim discusses his role as “MD” and how it’s responsibilities has evolved over years as the band’s success has grown. Jim is also a dedicated educator. Sharing real world performance experiences with his students is at the core of Jim’s teaching style. Jim is preparing to release his comprehensive book, Survival Guide For The Modern Drummer. Jim has also participated in many clinics across the country both large and small that have included Drum Daze in Columbus Ohio and Modern Drummer fest. Jim has defined success based on his own terms. He has found balance between performing with a successful band, teaching, writing music and writing about music as well as raising a family. See photos here.