Darius Rucker - Southern Style
There must be a reason why so many artists don’t try out new genres, or that when they do they turn out to be a bit unsuccessful. Going country is something that’s becoming a popular move at the moment, Steven Tyler has a newly minted country record deal, Kelly Clarkson has noted her desire to do something country, even Justin Timberlake has been appearing with Garth Brooks and talking up his desire to go country. The blueprint for success in changing genre must be former frontman of middling soft rock merchants Hootie & the Blowfish. Now on his fourth solo record Darius Rucker is a name in his own right, and despite dropping the odd Hootie track in his live shows he’s as authentic country as you can get.
Whilst he might be a bit too mainstream and radio friendly for some, Southern Style is as much an ode to the south and Rucker’s home state of South Carolina as it is women; ‘Need You More’ could be about Charleston (“Kinda like a country road needs an old church /
Carolina needs a red dirt”) while the title track is more overt in its salute to the south. And for the 48 year old the southern USA is all about the good times; the honky tonk ‘Good For A Good Time’ and lead single ‘Homegrown Honey’ are catchy, melodic tunes, a good example of the feelgood factor across the 13 tracks here. At a time when country music has a lot of hand wringing going on, it’s great to hear something that is what it is and doesn’t cause too much of a pause for thought. And it’s a great record for the summer, perfect timing.