Filed Under:

Darius Rucker: Busted Hearts And Pickup Trucks

Play associated audio

Darius Rucker's first country single didn't just reinvent his career; it also made him the first African-American singer to have a No. 1 country hit since Charley Pride did it a quarter-century earlier. Five more hits, a CMA award and two albums later, Rucker became the third African-American inducted into the Grand Ole Opry since its founding in 1925. On his latest album, True Believers, the Hootie and the Blowfish singer is firmly ensconced in his new genre, choosing a much-loved cover as the first single ("Wagon Wheel") and getting a vocal assist from the country megastars in Lady Antebellum.

One reason Rucker is enjoying so much commercial success in the latest chapter of his career is the same thing that made him famous in the first place — his remarkable voice. Rucker's ripe, easily recognizable baritone still sounds perfect on radio-ready hits, just as it did with his old band. Add just enough twang and the right subject matter — busted hearts and, yes, trucks, trains, Mama, getting drunk, et al. — and you've got a contemporary country-music star.

Sure, Rucker hits all the right notes and drops all the right references, but in country music, that's not enough. Many country fans want their entertainers to have a modicum of sincerity. Rucker is a rock star, but on his new album, you hear the guy who still lives in and still loves his home state of South Carolina, right down to its sweet tea and kudzu. It can be tough for artists to find an audience when they change genres, but Rucker does it seamlessly by returning to the music with which he grew up.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Ursula K. Le Guin Steers Her Craft Into A New Century

The famed novelist says that at 85 she no longer has the energy to write another book, but she's just released a revised and updated edition of her manual for aspiring writers, Steering the Craft.
NPR

#NPRreads: Middle East Air Quality, Lead Poisoning, And Jell-O

Around the newsroom and around the world, here's what we're reading this week.
NPR

Of The 900 Or So People Running For President, At Least 1 Of Them Is Nuts

A small group of presidential hopefuls get most of the media attention, but there are a lot of unknown people who also want the top job and filed the necessary paperwork. One of them is Deez Nuts.
NPR

No More Standing By The Spigot: Messaging App Alerts Water Availability

A startup in India — where an aging, ad hoc system limits water availability — is using text messages to let people know when their faucets should work, so they don't waste hours awaiting the deluge.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.