Darius Don’t Go

This past Monday morning I turned on my TV as an attempt to mentally escape my online government class, and to my surprise I saw Darius Rucker on the screen. He wasn’t on CMT or another program about country music, but he was on ESPN’s Mike and Mike, something I thought was out of the ordinary. I remember seeing Rucker perform at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in high school- and I know his cover of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” was a huge hit- but since then I haven’t heard much about him, which left me to assume his popularity declined. Well, after watching him talk about sports, current events, and his own career, I gained some insight as to why Darius Rucker has been more popular in the media lately.

The following day after appearing on ESPN, Rucker released his fourth country album Southern Style, an album which he was excited to talk about with Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg. From this album, the single “Homegrown Honey” reached number one on the country music charts just last week. Originally, I thought his appearance was for him to self-promote his own album, as well as talking about his recent success, however as the interview went on I realized that this was not the case. The big announcement came when Rucker later stated that sometime in the near future Hootie and the Blowfish will reunite, and, in turn, the discussion of Southern Style faded away. While he admitted it may be a year before the band starts making music again, it seemed that the news of Hootie and the Blowfish’s comeback entirely trumped the release of his new country album and number one single. Hearing this raised the question, is Darius Rucker done with country music?

As much as I want him to continue making country music, it seems that he’s transitioning back to his rock roots. Darius Rucker has been the most prominent African-American figure in country music since Charley Pride, and it’s saddening to see him return back to rock. Although he has not has the success of people like Brad Paisley or Tim McGraw, Rucker has done well in transcending traditional boundaries of what is considered country, expanding the fan base of country music along the way. In a time of racial tension, Darius Rucker has been able to thrive as a black artist in a genre of music that primarily targets a white audience. Some of this success can be directly attributed to his likable personality, seen in his appearance on Mike and Mike. His quick-witted humor, cheerful disposition, and social nature were all exemplified throughout his interview, and I truly believe him going back to Hootie and the Blowfish is a loss for country music. Who knows, maybe with his recent success of Southern Style Rucker might change his mind about the move back to rock. I like Darius Rucker as a person and as an artist, so wherever he winds up I hope he does well. With that being said, I have my fingers crossed he doesn’t stop with country music altogether, as I think he has a potentially long career ahead of him.


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5 Responses to Darius Don’t Go

  1. Lynden

    Wow, another artist transitioning away from Country Music? Leaving country seems to be a popular trend for country music artists recently. Well known singers like Taylor Swift, Zac Brown and now Darius Rucker have left country to join other genres. Once these artists made their name known in country music, they moved on to other genres. Since they already had a platform and fan base, their transitions have all been smooth. Even though Darius already made it big in rock, it took a few years in country music to get him real individual fame. As a country music fan I am sad to see these talented artists leave the genre. Each have brought very unique and wonderful sounds to country. It’s hard not to wonder which country music artist will crossover next.

  2. Courtney Gonzalez

    I adore Darius Rucker’s new album Southern Style! I think with this album he showed the country music community just what he is capable of. I agree that it would be a devastating loss to country music if Darius Rucker was to switch genres, because he has been a very influential artist these past couple of years. I think with his sound and popularity he has the potential to do great things and reach a wide range of audiences. While he will do well wherever he ends up in the music industry I think he would make a greater impact in the country music community.

  3. Marissa Gallardo

    Darius Rucker was always out to get more name recognition so he could transition back into what he originally set out to do as a musician. Country was the ideal cross over point for him when his folk rock career fizzled out. My mom always played Hootie and the Blowfish when I was a kid and we still have a few CDs of theirs. When Darius Rucker entered the scene as a “country music artist”, I already questioned his intentions. Although he is a good country artist in the short time he has tested the waters of the genre, I am quite excited to see what a Hootie and the Blowfish reunion will look like with his new influences in a separate genre. In my opinion, country music was a stepping stone to get back on track, into the genre of his roots.

  4. Joshua Fleming

    I would like to disagree I believe that even though Darius Rucker started his career with Hootie and the Blowfish I still think he was actually genuine about coming to country music in order to stay and become apart of its heritage. I also do think it was a smart move kind of going back to where he came from for the simple fact that it will gain his older fans back and get them to listen to more of his country while listening to his older stuff. So in the end I don’t think its necessarily see it as him leaving I just see it as him broadening his fan base again.

  5. Erin McAtee

    Great topic for a blog post; I had actually been wondering what had happened to him as I haven’t heard much from him in what seems like quite a while. I’m conflicted about his news of reuniting with Hootie and the Blowfish. Bands comparable to Hootie (including Hootie themselves) were what got me into country music originally; the rock beat with some folk influence greatly impacted by musical preferences in the past few year. However, I think Darius Rucker had a great influence on country music while he was present in this genre. His sound is unique, and his revamps of traditional songs like “Wagon Wheel” helped bring country music back to its roots in a time where bro-country was stealing the spotlight.

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