Darius Rucker, Revisited

Darius Rucker, Revisited

The year 2008 was a banner year for country artist Darius Rucker. This was the year that he released his debut country album entitled, “Learn to Live” via Capitol Records Nashville, setting the country music blog universe all abuzz with his crossover album. Of course, we all know Rucker as the front man of the now defunct band “Hootie and the Blowfish,” which also had its share of hit songs and awards at the height of its popularity. Indeed, nobody knew what to expect from him.

Initial doubts about his ability to cross over to country music were soon dispelled when, on the strength of the top three singles the album has produced—”Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” and “Alright,” all of which reached the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Country Songs chart—Rucker was nominated at the 2009 Country Music Association Awards. Nominated for three awards, Male Vocalist of the Year, Favorite Male Artist, and New Artist of the Year, Rucker made history by being the first African-American winner in 30 years. His win sent country music blogs into overdrive as to the relevance of this achievement.

When asked about what he felt about being compared with the legendary Charley Pride, in an interview Rucker said, “When I was making the record, I didn’t really think about the cultural or historical significance. But when my record started getting into the charts, I started hearing things and I had to pay attention. Anytime you’re mentioned with Charley Pride — and Ray Charles, too — it’s a great feeling! To be one of the few African-American men to fare well on country radio, I can’t help but feel great about that.”

When his single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” made it to the No. 1 spot, he shared how he felt at that time. “Making this record, I never thought about being an African-American guy making a country record. I just thought I was a guy making a country record until my first song went top 20 and people started talking about it. I’m proud of that, I’m proud of being that guy who has taken up where Charley Pride left off.”

Today, country music blogs are once again abuzz with news regarding his second country album. Of course, his fans are hoping he will record the same brand of country songs that gave him hit singles with his debut offering.  At present, Rucker is preparing to continue the last leg of the American Living Unstoppable tor with Rascal Flatts. This month, he is also set to go back into the studio to record materials for his second country album. About this second album Rucker says, “I’m very excited with the songs. I think this last record ended up being about where I am today. This next record may be a lot more about what it took to get there. We’re writing some songs, and I’m going to cut a Radney Foster track for this record. I’m just really excited again.”

When asked about its release date, Rucker says, “We’re going to play it by ear” to which he adds, “When I leave the studio, and when I put it on in my car and can listen to it over and over, then I’m happy.”

For more information about Rucker’s latest activities, you can check out http://www.dariusrucker.com/.

Joe Hansen is a music expert, specialized in country songs reviews.

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