Rucker to perform in TuscaloosaBy Ray Allen | 09/18/2014 12:38am
Grammy award winner Darius Rucker will perform at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater Thursday as part of his True Believers tour. Photo Coutsey Betsy Kiser
Many know the singer for his country ballads, but others know him as the former frontman of Hootie and the Blowfish, an alternative rock group popular in the ‘90s.
Rucker rose to fame in the South Carolina bar scene, where he met the other musicians who would ultimately become Hootie and the Blowfish. After five successful albums, they parted ways, and Rucker began his solo career. One R&B album later, Rucker decided to venture into the country music genre. In 2008, Rucker released his first country album, “Learn To Live.” Since then, he has released three award-winning albums with an untitled fourth on the way.
The concert will not be the first time Rucker has performed in Tuscaloosa, but it will be the first time he will perform as a solo artist. Rucker previously visited Tuscaloosa for a show with Hootie and the Blowfish.
Betsy Kiser, marketing director at Red Mountain Entertainment, said the agency booked Rucker for Tuscaloosa because of his current success in the country genre.
“He is one of the hottest acts in country music today,” Kiser said. “And we think country music fans in Tuscaloosa are going to have a great experience at the show.”
Brittany Jones, a junior majoring in chemical engineering, said she grew up listening to Rucker on the radio back when he went by the name Hootie.
“I think he is trying too hard,” she said. “Country music is just not his fit in my opinion.”
Destiny Sims, a junior majoring in English, said she enjoys listening to music from the ‘90s, but she thinks Rucker’s solo career sounds much better.
“Hootie and the Blowfish are just songs to play at parties,” Sims said. “Darius Rucker songs are just a little bit more relatable.”
Rucker will not be the only artist taking the stage. His concert will be opened by Sam Hunt and Chase Rice, newcomers to the country music industry. Hunt was formerly a quarterback for Middle Tennessee University and the University of Alabama in Birmingham before he decided to pursue a career in music. He has since collaborated with high-profile artists such as Kenny Chesney and Keith Urban.
Rice got his start after he appeared as a contestant in the reality show “Survivor: Nicaragua.” Since being on the show, Rice has released two country albums with a third on the way.
Darius Rucker, Chase Rice and Sam Hunt’s concert will take place at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater 8 p.m. Thursday. Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster or at the Amphitheater.