Basic Background Info

Birth: Unknown
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Band: Rascal Flatts
Genres: Country
Instruments: Drums
Occupation: Musician


Jim Riley, a promising musician as a young child, began taking lessons in percussion when he was just twelve. He also sang in a youth choir while learning to play the drums. During high school, Jim Riley studied under Arthur Press of the Boston Symphony and performed with the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Massachusetts Youth Wind Ensemble.

Jim Riley attended the University of North Texas where he studied under Ed Soph and Kal Cherry. While at UNT, Jim Riley performed with jazz, wind, and percussion orchestras, as well as the drum and bugle corps. Jim Riley earned a degree in music education and then became the head of percussion studies for the school district in Coppell, Texas.

Jim Riley relocated to Kansas City in 1995 and started recording with Jeff Scheetz while building and selling custom drums with Kansas City Drumworks. During this time, Jim Riley also started performing with percussion ensemble Sticks of Thunder. In 1997, Jim Riley once again relocated to Nashville. Almost immediately, Jim Riley got gig working with Mark Chesnutt and Hank Williams II.

In 2000, Jim Riley found a home drumming for (and leading) Rascal Flatts. Since then, Jim Riley has been touring and recording with the most popular country music group in recent history, while at the same time continuing to work in recording studios in Nashville.

Jim Riley has performed on many television programs including The Tonight Show, Good Morning America, The Today Show, The Jimmy Kimmel Show, and The View. He has also performed at The American Music Awards, The Academy of Country Music Awards, and The Country Music Association Awards.


Album Year Album Name Album Band
1997 Pawn Shop Jeff Sheetz
2000 Live Rascal Flatts
2004 Feels like Today Rascal Flatts
2006 Me and My Gang Rascal Flatts
2006 Ten Brian McKnight


  • Jim Riley is a self-proclaimed movie junkie.
  • He was voted Best Country Drummer in Modern Drummer Magazine's Reader's Poll in 2009, and in DRUM! Magazine's 2012 Reader's Poll

Instruments of Choice



Drums: Ludwig
Cymbals: Sabian
Hardware: Gibraltar
Heads: Remo
Electronics: Shure 
Percussion: Latin Percussion 
Sticks: Vater

Pics & Clips