« After Virgin Mobile FreeFest, Matt and Kim return to Maryland for Rams Head Live show | Main | Lower Dens, Cotton Jones, Josh Dibb on why they're playing CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival »

October 22, 2010

Darius Rucker, country music rising star, will still play Hootie and The Blowfish at Pier Six Pavilion

dariusruckeralt.jpgDarius Rucker is a country music star on the rise. His first foray into the genre, “Learn to Live,” sold more than a million copies.

But to most people he’ll always be Hootie, the frontman of ‘90s rock band Hootie & the Blowfish.

And if the people who come to see him Friday, when he plays Pier Six Pavilion, are all Hootie fans, that’s all right with him.

“I’m not tired of playing “Let Her Cry,” he said, referring to the second single from Hootie’s major-label debut, “Cracked Rear View.”More than 15 years later, that album is still the 15th-best-selling of all time.

Rucker has been a solo artist for seven years now. He transitioned from soft rock to country in 2008, much to the surprise of the country music world, which hadn’t had an African-American star in decades. 

It was a rocky move. The country music scene has high standards, he said. “Not everyone gets in,” he said. But the novelty factor of his country career has slowly worn off.

“I think people will always be curious, but I think I’ve proven myself,” he said. “Learn to Live,” his first country album, spawned four singles. And in March, he started touring with his second, “Charleston, SC 1966.”

He’s found such success in country, he’s now operating mainly from Tennessee; all the songs on the album were written there. To find the members of his touring band, his producer put out the word in Nashville and found his six players in two days, he said.

“The great thing about Nashville is, everybody can play,” he said. So, what does Rucker look for in a band member? “I’m looking for someone I can hang out with,” he said. “Guys that can join this traveling circus and have fun.”

Rucker says the tour, which is expected to end this March, is likely to appeal to frat brothers and country fans. He won’t just play from his first two country albums, he’ll also play Hootie songs, and even Prince and Steve Miller covers.

“When you’re touring, you just go from town to town. You have to make it interesting for yourself,” Rucker said. “My goal when we play is that everyone has a good time.”

If you go: Darius Rucker performs Friday at Pier Six Pavilion, 731 Eastern Ave. Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $25-$60. Call 410-244-1131 or go to

Midnight Sun on Facebook and Twitter @midnightsunblog
Posted by Erik Maza at 1:47 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Music News


Uh, Darius was never "Hootie". The name Hootie and the Blowfish came from two kids at the school the band attended (one kid was called Hootie and the kid was called the Blowfish) and has nothing to do with Darius or his bandmates.

nice work with the HATBF trivia, but to the average joe, he's hootie.

it's pretty cool that he's found success as a country singer

Ugh...I remember the years of Hootie. It was a rough time. MTV was still playing music but this was boring adult contemporary being passed off as relevant at a time when there was so much going on in the world of music. Couldn't go anywhere without hearing their bland style of bar-band mellow "rock" coming over the speakers.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Please enter the letter "z" in the field below:
About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

Most Recent Comments
Recent tweets
Sign up for FREE nightlife alerts*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for nightlife text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Weekend Watch newsletter
Plan your weekend with's best events, restaurant and movie reviews, TV picks and more delivered to you every Thursday for free.
See a sample | Sign up

Photo galleries
Stay connected