Friday, October 13, 2023



Photo Credit: Scott Kowalchyk

With the Tennessean highlighting “his best comprehensive country music work” on brand new album Carolyn’s Boy, Darius Rucker celebrated its release with a rousing performance of “Have A Good Time” on last night’s episode of “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.” 

Rucker considers the album, his sixth country project and first since 2017, to be his most personal to date, something he credits to taking the past six years to hone the songs and, in turn, reestablishing his passion for making music.

“The album’s meat involves Rucker finally getting to the core of country’s stereotypical three chords and the truth,” acknowledges the Tennessean of that process, with Rucker explaining, “I had a lot of therapy with myself on this record, which allows me to show the world how much I view making music, internally, as a therapeutic outlet for saying what I feel and think.”

“For Carolyn’s Boy, I talked to some of the best songwriters in town about so many of my authentically lived experiences,” he continues. “I feel like I’m finally comfortable doing what I’m supposed to do as a country music artist.”

Named for his late mother, Carolyn, who encouraged his love of country music from a young age, the album pays tribute to the woman whom Rucker told Willie Geist on this week’s “Sunday TODAY” is the reason for everything he is; “She taught us to be nice, she taught us to care, she taught us to give back, she taught us to always be the best person you can be.”

“Now that I’m a dad, three times over with grown kids, I just wanted to pay tribute to my mom who never got to see any of this stuff, any of this success,” he explained to the Associated Press, noting that – while there are somber moments – he hopes the project as a whole epitomizes her joyful personality: “it should sound like a celebration.”

“The thing I love is seeing her picture,” Rucker noted to Forbes of the album’s cover. “She’s 25 in that photo and it’s my favorite picture of her. Having my record named after her, and having her photo all over social media, I love it. I know she’s somewhere laughing and saying, ‘Boy, stop!’”

From recent No. 1 hit “Beers And Sunshine,” his 10th to top the Country charts, to current single “Fires Don’t Start Themselves,” lauded by Billboard for “the impressive vocal control and power in his lower register,” and his latest release, “Southern Comfort,” described by Garden & Gun as “evok[ing] a wistful nostalgia that has become one of Rucker’s calling cards,” the project honoring Carolyn Rucker features 14 tracks, 11 of which boast Rucker as a cowriter.

Some of the notable cowriters joining him on the project include global superstar Ed Sheeran for the reflective “Sara,” penned during a trip to London and celebrated by People as “a mid-tempo rumination on the hopes of seeking friendship and comfort in a long-lost connection;” reigning ACM Artist/Songwriter of the Year HARDY for the longing “3am in Carolina;” longtime friend and Lady A vocalist Charles Kelley for the despairing “7 days;” and Brothers Osborne’s John Osborne on “Never Been Over,” with Billboard noting Rucker “sings expertly on this track… bolstered by discreet, serene pedal steel and mandolin.”

In addition, the album sees Rucker join forces with Chapel Hart for the collaborative “Ol’ Church Hymn” while also offering his take on Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” from blockbuster film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with MusicRow summarizing his rendition as “beautifully produced, spiritually uplifting and soul stirring. It builds to anthem-level intensity before receding into an intimate prayer. Essential.”

The album also features vulnerably insightful songs such as “Sure Would Have Loved Her,” “Stargazing,” while offering uplifting reminders to a divided world on tracks such as “In This Together,” “Same Beer Different Problem” and “Have A Good Time.”

Having shared the new music with fans across the country all summer on his Starting Fires Tour, which concludes its North American stretch tomorrow evening in Nashville, Rucker is also gearing up to take his wide-ranging catalog of hits across the pond with a recently announced run of European tour dates in early 2024.

For more information and to purchase tickets to all upcoming shows, visit and follow on social media @DariusRucker.

Carolyn’s Boy Track List:

(songwriters in parentheses)

1. Beers And Sunshine (Darius Rucker, JT Harding, Josh Osborne, Ross Copperman)

2. In This Together (Darius Rucker, Derek George, Bobby Hamrick, Joy Williams)

3. Never Been Over (Darius Rucker, Lee Thomas Miller, John Osborne)

4. Fires Don’t Start Themselves (Ben Hayslip, Jacob Rice, Dan Isbell)

5. Ol’ Church Hymn feat. Chapel Hart (Darius Rucker, Greylan James, Ben Hayslip, Josh Miller)

6. 7 Days (Darius Rucker, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, Charles Kelley)

7. Same Beer Different Problem (Darius Rucker, Tofer Brown, Sarah Buxton, Brad Tursi)

8. Sara (Darius Rucker, Joel Crouse, Kyle Rife, Ed Sheeran)

9. Have A Good Time (Darius Rucker, Monty Criswell, Derek George, Bobby Hamrick)

10. Sure Would Have Loved Her (Darius Rucker, Wyatt Durrette, Levi Lowrey)

11. Southern Comfort (Chris LaCorte, Matt Rogers, Josh Osborne)

12. 3am in Carolina (Darius Rucker, Ross Copperman, Michael Hardy)

13. Lift Me Up (Temilade Openiyi, Robyn Fenty, Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Goransson)

14. Stargazing (Darius Rucker, Brinley Addington, Jess Cayne, Matt Morrisey)

Photo Credit: Jim Wright

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