True Believers is the third solo country album from Rucker. Though he was previously best known as bandleader of Hootie and the Blowfish–one of the biggest pop-rock sensations of the 1990s–Rucker is also a longtime fan of country music.
The country community can be skeptical of artists who’ve ‘gone country,’ but in Rucker’s case, fans obviously recognized something genuine about his songs and spirit and were quick to embrace him.
And Rucker’s success as a country artist has been fast and furious. His 2008 single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” topped the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, making him the first African American artist to do so since Charley Pride in 1983. He’s since gone on to be a regular at the top of the country charts, thanks to such singles as “It Won’t Be Like This for Long,” “Come Back Song,” and “Alright.”
Last year he even became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, with the invitation delivered in person by his friend Brad Paisley.
Fans are already familiar with a couple of the songs on True Believers. The first single from the album was the title track, which made it to the Top 20 last year.
As Darius told Radio.com, the song “True Believers” is “so personal. It’s the story about a husband and a wife who all their friends said were never going to make it, and all these years later all their friends are divorced, and they’re still together, and everybody is still saying they’re never going to make it.”
“It’s such a defiant song,” he continued, “that’s saying to everybody, ‘Screw you. I know we’re going to make it. Through all the crap, we’re going to be the two that make it.’ And that’s how my wife and I feel. I love the song.” And he loved it enough, apparently, to also make it the title track of the album.
Rucker’s most recent single “Wagon Wheel” is also from True Believers. And it topped the country songs chart on Billboard earlier this spring.
“Wagon Wheel” was originally written and recorded by alt-country band the Old Crow Medicine Show (it was based around an unreleased song sketch by Bob Dylan, from his Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid sessions). Darius recorded his own version last year, with Lady Antebellum on backing vocals.
The video for “Wagon Wheel” was a blast and even featured members of the reality TV show Duck Dynasty.
— Darius Rucker (@dariusrucker) March 5, 2013
Darius cowrote 10 of the 12 songs on True Believers, and the album was produced by Frank Rogers, who also produced Rucker’s two previous solo albums, Learn To Live and Charleston, SC 1966.
“I’m very proud of this record,” Rucker says. “The songs, the cowrites, the vibe – it’s all really different from what we’ve recorded and released on the past two albums, and I hope that difference resonates with the fans.”
True Believers track listing:
True Believers (Darius Rucker, Josh Kear)
Miss You (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers)
Wagon Wheel (Bob Dylan, Ketch Secor)
Love Without You (Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally)
Radio (Darius Rucker, Luke Laird, Ashley Gorley)
Lost In You (Darius Rucker, Mark Nesler, Phillip White)
I Will Love You Still (Darius Rucker, Josh Kear)
Take Me Home (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers, Monty Criswell)
Shine (Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers)
Heartbreak Road (Darius Rucker, Dallas Davidson, Rhett Akins)
Leavin’ The Light On (Darius Rucker, David Lee Murphy, Phil O’Donnell)
Lie To Me (Darius Rucker, Rodney Clawson, Bob DiPiero)