Darius Rucker, ‘Southern Style': Everything You Need to Know
Darius Rucker's fourth country solo album drops on March 31. Southern Style is the follow-up to the gold-certified True Believers album, and includes "Homegrown Honey," his fast-climbing lead single that was released in August. Here's everything you need to know about Rucker's Southern Style.
Southern Style is named after one of the songs (see below). He says it's reflective of his approach to this project, which was to have a little more fun than he had on previous albums, which have leaned heavily on love songs. That could ultimately prove to be the case here as well, but there's the promise of a more carefree love, and perhaps not as much heartache.
Rucker calls "Homegrown Honey" a country party song. Charles Kelley and Nathan Chapman helped him pen this one; credit the Lady Antebellum singer with the opening line and Chapman with the melody.
“[When] we finished it," Rucker says, "we were sitting around and I said, ‘This is my single.’ There was no doubt in my mind that that was my first single.”
Frank Rogers has produced the South Carolina-raised singer's first three country albums, and he's back for No. 4, however Keith Stegall also nabs production credits on several songs. Rogers also helped pen two of the tracks on Southern Style.
“Homegrown Honey” (Rucker, Charles Kelley, Nathan Chapman) — Rucker's country party song. It's one of the catchiest on the radio.
“Good for a Good Time (Rucker, Kendall Marvel, Jeremy Spillman) — A swinging party song that's packed with fiddle and boot-stomping rhythm.
“Baby I’m Right” (Rucker, Nesler, Brian Phillip White) — Mallory Hope joins Rucker on this uptempo duet. It's a love song focused on the early, magical stages of romance.
“Southern Style” (Tim James, Rivers Rutherford) — Rucker says in general he wanted to have more fun on this album, and the title-track reflects that. “The opening line is ‘Big blond hair too much makeup / High heel boots that lace-up / Got two first names that came from her grandmas on both sides.’ It’s one of those country songs that I love.”
“High on Life” (Rucker, Jessi Alexander, Josh Thompson) — Five songs in and no frowns to be found on Southern Style. This is a classic Rucker song that leans heavily on him as a vocalist.
“Perfect” (Rucker, Ashley Gorley, Rhett Akins) — A midtempo love song about a guy watching his true love get ready for a day or night out. His message is she looks perfect without her hair done and makeup finished.
“You, Me & My Guitar” (Rucker, Gorley, Akins) — Next to "Homegrown Honey," this could be Southern Style's next most pure singalong song.
“Low Country” (Rucker, Troy Verges, Blair Daly, Hillary Lindsey) — Rucker slows things down here for a pure country moment. He sings about getting high on low country. "Where the sun meets the water and the nights get hotter / Sounds right on the money."
“Need You More” (Rucker, Deric Ruttan, Jonathan Singleton) — This is the first song on the album that qualifies as a ballad. It's a love song telling of how much he needs his love with multiple comparisons. Strings drive this less traditional arrangement.
“Half Full Dixie Cup” (Rucker, Monty Criswell, Frank Rogers) — Fiddle returns for this song about optimism.
“Lighter Up” (Rucker, Blake Bollinger, Drew Davis) — Perhaps more than any other song on Southern Style, "Lighter Up" feels tailored for Rucker's live show. It's easy to imagine fans jumping up and down as he sings this song.
“You Can Have Charleston” (Rucker, Rogers) — It's sort of the anti-"Give Me Back My Hometown." Rucker is telling a lover he can have his hometown, although he'll miss it terribly.
“So I Sang” (Rucker, James, Rutherford) — Inspired by his realization that he’d never play in the NFL, let alone for his favorite team, the Miami Dolphins.
Southern Style is Rucker's most traditional country effort, with more fiddle and mandolin than he's ever employed. While one or two songs rely on old styles, the majority swing like George Strait. There's little hurt on this album. In fact there is so much buoyancy and optimism a song like "Half Full Dixie Cup" hardly feels necessary.
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