Darius Rucker Will Bring the Sunshine to Canfield Fair

CANFIELD, Ohio – Darius Rucker prefers to look on the bright side, even during the pandemic.

The superstar’s first single from his upcoming album was “Beers and Sunshine,” an upbeat little ditty about the two pillars of the good life that lit up country radio earlier this year.

Fans can raise a glass to Rucker on Sunday, when the easygoing artist headlines an 8 p.m. concert at the Canfield Fair grandstand. There likely won’t be any angst or gloom around when the easygoing South Carolinian is on stage.

With his appearance drawing near, Rucker shared his thoughts on his upcoming album, returning to the Buckeye State, and reuniting with his previous band – the beloved rock act Hootie & the Blowfish – in this email interview:

First of all, how does it feel to tour again after the long layoff?

Rucker: It feels amazing to be playing live shows again. Every night that we’re back on stage with the fans singing every word along with us is a reminder of how lucky we are to do this for a living and it reinforces just how much we missed that energy.
 
Congratulations on your new single, “My Masterpiece.” It’s a comforting love song that provides some much-needed emotional security. Does it indicate the direction of your upcoming album? How would you describe the album? 

Rucker: Thank you! The record is so diverse and has so many different kinds of songs – not all upbeat songs like “Beers And Sunshine” and “My Masterpiece” – so I don’t know if you could say they indicate the direction of the record, but they definitely fit right in.

How far along are you on the album? When will it be released? 

Rucker: We’re actually in the process of recording now. Both “Beers and Sunshine” and “My Masterpiece” will be on it. Honestly, the hardest part has been narrowing down which other songs will make the record, since we had so much time to be creative and write new songs over the past year. I can’t wait to see how the final project comes together and share that with the fans!
 
What other projects did you work on during the past year? Have you stockpiled some new songs?

Rucker: We did write a ton of new music and I decided to try to teach myself to play piano… That attempt inspired the writing of “My Masterpiece,” so it wasn’t a total loss, but I still have a long way to go before I know what I’m doing! I also got to spend a lot more time with my kids than we do in a normal touring year, which was really nice. And of course my son Jack and I played a lot of golf!
 
Northeastern Ohio is a strong fanbase for you, and headlining the Canfield Fair is huge. Do you have any memories or thoughts about Youngstown, which you last played in 2015, or Ohio?

Rucker: Man, we always love playing shows in Ohio. The fans are so awesome and especially after being away for so long we can’t wait to get back there and have a great time together.

Let’s talk about HootieFest, the January rock festival in Cancun, Mexico, featuring Hootie & the Blowfish, Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Toad the Wet Sprocket and other huge rock acts from the ’90s. The love for Hootie continues to endure, and to center a festival around the band is inspired. How did HootieFest get off the ground? Tell me about the decision to make it a beachfront destination-vacation event?

Rucker: We (in Hootie & the Blowfish) had such a great time back on tour together in 2019, so when the team behind this Cancun event came to us with this idea it really sounded like fun – especially when we started getting the other bands involved. Those bands are all people we’re friends with and who we hung out with all those years on the road in the ’90s, so it should be a really special weekend.

Tickets for Darius Rucker’s concert Sunday range from $89.50 to $39.50 and are available at ticketmaster.com (fees apply).

The Canfield Fair will close Monday with a 7 p.m. grandstand concert by rock band Shinedown. Tickets range from $75 to $35 and are available at ticketmaster.com (fees apply).

Pictured at top: Darius Rucker performs at the Darius and Friends benefit concert on Aug. 17 (photo by Austin Friedline).

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.