By: Tanita Gaither
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - This is NOT A DRILL: Hootie and the Blowfish are reuniting for a new album and tour!
As announced with Craig Melvin in a taped piece on Monday’s TODAY Show, the band says this new record is for the fans.
The band formed by Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker and Jim “Soni” Sonefeld during their time as students at the University of South Carolina will visit 44 cities on the tour produced by Live Nation., kicking off Thursday, May 30 in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and wrapping Friday, September 13 with a Columbia, South Carolina homecoming.
Hootie & the Blowfish with special guests Barenaked Ladies will play Colonial Life Arena on Friday, Sept. 13.
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) December 3, 2018
“Once the four of us met and started playing shows, we toured for years before signing a record deal,” reflects Rucker who, in the 10+ year break since their last formal tour and nearly 15 years since their last studio album as a band, has charted nine No. 1 singles on Country radio. Felber notes, “Having those shows at fraternity houses, clubs and dive bars under our belt prepared us for success to a degree, and it’s something we’re proud of – that we put in the work – but what matters to me the most is that we’re still a band all these years later. We’ve never stopped being a band.” “We were content playing clubs and small theaters, so playing to three-, four- and five-times that size was incredible, and we’re looking forward to that feeling again on this tour,” Sonefeld echoes.
Bryan adds, “There’s nothing like playing music live. For the first time in nearly 20 years we’ll be coming back to Columbia, South Carolina where it all began,” before Rucker interjects, “and we’re ready to rock.” In addition to hitting the road on the Group Therapy Tour in 2019, the band described as “beloved” by the New York Times and praised by Billboard for their “undeniable charm” will also release a forthcoming sixth studio album under new label home Universal Music Group Nashville as their debut Cracked Rear View celebrates its 25th anniversary.
WIS was there as the band returned to their old stomping grounds on the USC campus ahead of this morning’s big announcement.
They were even treated to a special surprise with a tribute from “Carolina Alive.”
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