POP COUNTRY SYNERGY REIGNS, AS ONE OF THE SEASON’S BEST FEELGOOD SHOWS STOPS IN HOLMDEL
BY JON DOMENICK
Darius Rucker, former lead singer and guitarist of the Grammy Award winning Hootie and the Blowfish, has achieved what a myriad of would be crossover artists only dream of joining the country music star pantheon in both writing and performing realms. In 2014, for example, Rucker won his third career Grammy, this time for Best Solo Country Performance, for his four time platinum selling version of the country staple “Wagon Wheel.”
This summer, Rucker is joining fellow Grammy winners Lady Antebellum on “Summer Plays On Tour,” beginning in Toronto July 19. The show stops locally at the PNC Garden State Arts Center on August 3 and at the Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, New York the following night.
The country trio and Rucker share a lengthy friendship and touring history, as well as a legacy of number one hits. Quoted on his website, Rucker stated that “…reuniting this summer and heading back out on the road with my friends feels like a home away from home.”
Lady Antebellum (seen above), comprised of Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelley, debuted in 2006, quickly rising to the top of the charts and becoming the first artists in the history of the Country Music Awards to win Single of the Year twice in row (“Need You Now,” and “Just a Kiss”). They are known for mixing country with rock, pop, and a touch of funk, mixed with rhythm and blues.
Rucker caused a minor ruckus at June’s County Music Awards when he appeared in a video dressed in an outfit very much like the bright green and purple ensemble worn by Queen Elizabeth at her grandson Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle, then upped the satirical ante by attending the awards ceremony in the same hat and a jacket adorned with a large sparkly brooch. He ended the show on stage with Jason Aldean, Luke Bryan, and Lady Antebellum’s Kelley performing Rucker’s Prohibition themed “Straight to Hell” from his current album, When Was the Last Time, as the newly named “Troublemakers.”
Special Guest Russell Dickerson is joining the tour. The country/pop singer songwriter had his first hit single with “Yours,” written with partners from his Belmont University of Nashville days, Parker Welling and Casey Brown.