You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hootie and the Blowfish

Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world. Five albums under their belt and they still appear to be an unassuming bar band from South Carolina, albeit one that hasn't written a song as catchy as "Let Her Cry" since their debut.

With:
Band: Mark Bryan, Dean Feller, Darius Rucker, Jim Sonefeld, John Nau, Peter Holsapple.

Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world and that they became that without any sort of trend or manufactured hype behind them. Five albums under their belt — Atlantic issued their first eponymous album three months ago — and they still appear to be an unassuming bar band from South Carolina, albeit one that hasn’t written a song as catchy as “Let Her Cry” since their debut.

They are assimilators. Their strength is an ability to blend an assortment of easy-going musical references and then create something inviting. That it has become a rather bland melange of folk-rock peppered in places with ’60s rock harmonies, a New Orleans rhythm, bluegrass or Memphis R&B seems like it was inevitable — that debut, “Cracked Rear View,” was an attempt to write 11 hit singles, and somehow, they darn near succeeded. Doing it again is a near impossibility, so they rely on an engaging spirit that hasn’t seemed to change since the mid-1990s.

Two new songs put Hootie in its best possible light Thursday. Perfumed by mid-’60s melodic rock, “The Rain Song” showcases Darius Rucker’s commanding tenor-baritone sweetly buoyed by persistent harmonies; it has a distinct catchiness that’s almost non-Hootie-esque. The bouncy “Little Brother” dips its toe in reggae water and then wades in ’70s R&B until Rucker bursts into Earth, Wind & Fire’s “Shining Star.” Perf was going along great until a guest rapper appeared and threw out every ’90s cliche during his boasts. Made one wonder — wasn’t Hootie popular in the first place because it was so far removed from hip-hop? It may be the one genre where assimilation won’t work.

Hootie and the Blowfish

House of Blues; 1,000 capacity; $35

Production: Presented inhouse. Reviewed June 12, 2003.

Cast: Band: Mark Bryan, Dean Feller, Darius Rucker, Jim Sonefeld, John Nau, Peter Holsapple.

More Music

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify Sued Over Sales Team's 'Boys' Trips' to Strip Clubs

    Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world and that they became that without any sort of trend or manufactured hype behind them. Five albums under their belt — Atlantic issued their first eponymous album three months ago — and they still appear to be […]

  • Lil Peep dead

    Posthumous Lil Peep Album on the Way (EXCLUSIVE)

    Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world and that they became that without any sort of trend or manufactured hype behind them. Five albums under their belt — Atlantic issued their first eponymous album three months ago — and they still appear to be […]

  • US Capitol

    Senate Passes Music Modernization Act

    Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world and that they became that without any sort of trend or manufactured hype behind them. Five albums under their belt — Atlantic issued their first eponymous album three months ago — and they still appear to be […]

  • Elvis Duran and Medha Gandhi

    Morning Radio's Elvis Duran Announces New Co-Host

    Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world and that they became that without any sort of trend or manufactured hype behind them. Five albums under their belt — Atlantic issued their first eponymous album three months ago — and they still appear to be […]

  • A Star Is Born

    AMC Theatres to Launch 'A Star Is Born' Two Days Early at Dolby Cinemas

    Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world and that they became that without any sort of trend or manufactured hype behind them. Five albums under their belt — Atlantic issued their first eponymous album three months ago — and they still appear to be […]

  • Nas, Pusha T, Vic Mensa to

    Nas, Pusha T, Vic Mensa to Perform at Inaugural Red Bull Music Festival Chicago

    Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world and that they became that without any sort of trend or manufactured hype behind them. Five albums under their belt — Atlantic issued their first eponymous album three months ago — and they still appear to be […]

  • Eminem

    Eminem and the F-Word: Why Does Rap Still Tolerate Homophobia?

    Hard to believe that eight years ago, Hootie and the Blowfish was the biggest band in the world and that they became that without any sort of trend or manufactured hype behind them. Five albums under their belt — Atlantic issued their first eponymous album three months ago — and they still appear to be […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content