As a summer of sold-out shows celebrated by fans and critics alike nears its celebratory three-night U.S. finale in Columbia, South Carolina, the band Billboard praises as “back and better than ever” will continue the excitement into the fall with the announcement of “Imperfect Circle,” the first new album from Hootie & the Blowfish in nearly 15 years.
Due out Nov. 1 on Universal Music Group’s Capitol Nashville imprint, the album is available for pre-order today.
Despite a decade-long hiatus that followed their initial wave of success punctuated only by occasional charity shows, the band’s return to the spotlight with this year’s “Group Therapy Tour” has brought out the “highest attendance figures of their career,” according to Billboard’s Boxscore, proving that the two-time Grammy Award winners have withstood the test of time.
“Whatever the descriptive shorthand used – roots rock, alt-country, jangle-pop or country-rock – Hootie and the Blowfish’s material has aged extraordinarily well, fond remembrances aside,” noted the Dallas Observer at a recent show, proclaiming that “the honey-voiced Rucker is still, 25 years on, one of the best singers in any genre, full stop.”
“Rucker has – no exaggeration – one of the great voices in contemporary pop music, a dynamic and sophisticated baritone that’s full of gravity,” agreed the New York Times in a June Arts & Leisure cover story after sitting in on the recording process for “Imperfect Circle.” “The rest of the band makes spry work of otherwise staid idioms. Bryan is a patient decorator with guitar, never overpowering an arrangement, and as a rhythm section, Felber and Sonefeld are insistent but amiable.”
Following the nostalgic summer tour, fans now eager to hear new music by the iconic band can get early access to a first track called “Rollin’” available exclusively at www.Hootie.com, before it becomes available for purchase and streaming on Sept. 6.
About Hootie & the Blowfish
With the rich, bluesy vocals of Darius Rucker and gleeful harmonies of guitarist Mark Bryan, bassist Dean Felber and drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, Hootie & the Blowfish have sold over 25 million records worldwide to date after their infectious melodies hit the airwaves in 1994 with hits such as “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You.”
The quartet met at the University of South Carolina where endless gigs at frat houses and local bars built a major local buzz. Their blend of pop, folk, blues, soul and rock made them hard to pigeonhole, but easily accessible to anyone who loved good music.
Atlantic Records, impressed by their regional draw, signed them and released “Cracked Rear View” in 1994. The album had been out for six months before the band played on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” which sent sales skyrocketing, eventually landing at No. 1 on the Billboard chart the following spring.
“Cracked Rear View” and the band went on to win two Grammy Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, a Billboard Music Award, and multiple People’s Choice Awards. “Cracked Rear View” went on to earn the band Billboard‘s Band of the Year Award in 1996 and the RIAA’s Diamond Award for sales in excess of 10 million units.
“Cracked Rear View” remains the fifth-most certified studio album in music business history.
The band remained a top draw nationwide and released five more albums for Atlantic: “Fairweather Johnson,” “Musical Chairs,” “Scattered, Smothered & Covered,” “Hootie & The Blowfish” and “The Best of Hootie & The Blowfish,” as well as “Looking For Lucky” on their own Sneaky Long Records, and “LIVE in Charleston, The Homegrown Concert Event” DVD and CD.
The band took a break from full-time touring in 2007, reuniting annually for a variety of philanthropic events while also pursuing solo projects. 2019 marked the band’s first full-time touring year in over a decade as they embarked on the “Group Therapy Tour” ahead of “Imperfect Circle,” their first album in nearly 15 years due out Nov. 1 under a new record deal with Universal Music Group Nashville.