There’s a new sound on Southern Style, the fourth country disc from Darius Rucker. The superstar says that there is definitely a little more traditional element to the record, especially on tracks such as “Good For A Good Time” and “Homegrown Honey,” the set’s first single.
“That’s what we were going for with this one. We wanted to make it twangier and a little more countrier than the other records,” he says. “We were lucky that we got the songs that we were able to do that with. This was a step in the direction that I wanted to take, and it got me really fired up about making the next record.”
Rucker feels that with the new album, he left nothing to chance stylistically.
“It was really important to me on this record to get that feel, and not have it be like a subtle thing, but actually come out and make the record that organic and have that feel of country,” he says, adding that he feels like it was definitely a mission accomplished. “Whether you like it or not, you have to say it’s definitely country, and I’m proud of that.”
Still, Rucker stresses that he wasn’t trying to make a big statement with the record. It still came down to having the best material for the records. “It’s always about making the best music. It was about making the record I wanted to make right now, and going into the studio and making sure that the songs were the ones that I wanted out there. We worked really hard to make this record sound a little different from the last.”
One song from the set that already has a special spot in Rucker’s heart is “You Can Have Charleston,” which references his hometown. “Writing that song with Frank Rogers was great. It’s such a personal song to me,” he says, even though he says it’s not autobiographical. “Even though I don’t have the experience of leaving Charleston, and my wife’s not with some other guy, the whole story and vividness of the song makes it hit home so hard. I love listening to it. I don’t know how many times I could sing it live, but I definitely love listening to it.”
What is it about Charleston that tugs on his heart?
“The people more than anything,” he confirms. “Those that were here, my family growing up, and all that stuff. Charleston is such a laid back town of people who don’t take themselves that seriously, and they see life in a great way. Growing up here shaped me into who I am.”
Fans will get a little misty-eyed at the set’s closer, “So I Sang,” which he admits pulled at the emotional heartstrings.
“That was one where Rivers Rutherford and Tim James had that idea. Tim’s dad had died a few years before, and they had this idea for me. We took it, and made it personal about some of the things I had went through. We said exactly what we wanted to say. It hits home for me so much, and every time I hear it, I’m re-living three different moments of my life in those places again.”
“Homegrown Honey,” the lead single, recently became Rucker’s sixth top 10 country record, peaking at No. 2. Rucker is proud to be on Country Radio, and credits his promotional team for keeping his music alive.
“The radio staff at Universal is unbelievable. They do such a great job, and worked their butts off on that song. I couldn’t be prouder of them. That’s the one thing about my success is that I’ve enjoyed. Somebody asked me what the best part about my second career was, and I said ‘being on the radio again.’ That’s just something I love, and being relevant at radio. The staff at Universal does a great job of getting it played.”
As usual, Rucker teams with Frank Rogers for the album, but he also pairs up in the recording studio with veteran producer Keith Stegall. He says there are no changes on the horizon, but he did like the dynamic of being in the studio with the man behind hits from Alan Jackson and The Zac Brown Band.
“I love working with Frank Rogers, and he’s always going to be my producer, but it was great to work with Keith. It was so much fun, and I can’t wait to work with him once again.”
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Watch Darius Rucker’s “Homegrown Honey” video here!
Buy Darius Rucker Southern Style on itunes!
Southern Style Track Listing:
- Homegrown Honey
- Good For A Good Time
- Baby I’m Right (Featuring Mallary Hope)*
- Southern Style
- High On Life*
- You, Me And My Guitar
- Low Country*
- Need You More
- Half Full Dixie Cup
- Lighter Up*
- You Can Have Charleston
- So I Sang*