Hootie and The Blowfish reunite with new album, tour

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pop-rock band Hootie & the Blowfish is getting back together, 25 years after their debut studio album, “Cracked Rear View.” The Grammy-winning group, best known for 1990s hits like “Hold My Hand,” will drop a new album and launch an official tour next year after taking a decade-long break.

The Southern pop-rockers, featuring lead singer Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Jim Sonefeld and Dean Felber, broke out with their major label debut in 1994, which has been certified 21-times platinum and made the Recording Industry Association of America’s list of the top-10 most popular albums of all-time.

With Top 10 hits like “Hold My Hand,” Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You,” the South Carolina-based band went from playing college bars to selling out arenas and winning best new artist at the Grammy Awards in 1996. The band put out five studio albums and other live albums, never coming close to the popularity of the first, with the last one in 2006. Their last official tour was in 2007.

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But with a big anniversary approaching in 2019, the four musicians who still play together a couple times a year for annual charity events decided it was time to go out on the road and bring with them some new music.

Felber said of the recording process, “We have a bunch of songs, and so now we are just working on it and getting them together and deciding which ones are going to be good and which ones aren’t going to be good. And then just kind of playing and writing in the studio.”

Rucker, who has been working on a solo career as a country star the past decade, known for smash hits like “Wagon Wheel,” said, “Nothing has changed. When the four of us get back together, we fall into the same dynamic of the band that’s always there. We’ve been a band for pretty much 30 years now. We’re just older now. There’s a lot less alcohol.”

He said of the band’s return: “I am looking forward to rocking again.”

Rucker said they hope to have a single out in the spring with a full album next summer. The Group Therapy Tour starts May 30, 2019, in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and will hit 44 cities, including the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden in New York and Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tennessee. The tour ends in Columbia, South Carolina, where the band members met as students at the University of South Carolina, on September 13.

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