As the front man of Hootie & The Blowfish, Darius Rucker has already experienced success - earning two Grammy awards and selling over 25 million albums worldwide. Embracing his Country roots and a music he has always wanted to make, Darius is attracting the attention of Country fans who are discovering his voice for the first time, and rewarding Hootie fans with new music featuring one of the most unique voices across any genre of music. Featuring his debut Country single, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It", Learn to Live features 12 undeniable Country hits and a voice that is unarguably Darius Rucker. "I have always written Country songs...for me, this is really just part of the natural evolution of my career. I plan to be doing this for a long time. This isn't a one album deal - it's a career thing," explains Rucker.
As the lead singer and co-writer for Hootie & the Blowfish, Darius Rucker always eschewed overt R & B, and fixed the band’s music in roots rock. Now on this solo album, Learn to Live
, he immerses himself in the typical Nashville themes of home, hearth, and spirituality, with varying results. His sturdy baritone knows how to carry these messages, and he displays an ease with country phrasing. Furthermore, he's assembled a fine passel of pickers, from mainstream guests Vince Gill, Alison Krauss and Brad Paisley, to 'grassers Aubrey Haynie and Bryan Sutton. All this works fine on the radio—the album and the single "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," which logged the number one slot on the country charts. But while Rucker pays fine homage to Buck Owens with the intro to the humorous divorce declaration "All I Want," and nurtures his inner redneck on the barroom anthem "Drinkin' and Dialin'," too many clichés weave their way into his lyrics, and the overall sound is that of amiable, cookie-cutter, country pop. Next time out, let’s hope Rucker reaches farther back into his South Carolina roots for a more authentic backwoods connection. -– Alanna Nash