Just like with any artist, Darius Rucker likes exploring uncharted territory. This past weekend, the Capitol Nashville act did just that, with a stop in McCall, Idaho that was a little bit different than your average tour stop. The singer was brought to town to help introduce the Whitetail Club in McCall as a tourist destination.
"They wanted to have a big show up there, and they asked me to it," he said. "I love playing up in Idaho, so I was glad they asked me. We had some fun, and hopefully, we helped to spread the word about everything they are doing up there."
"Spread" is one way to put it. Spanning 1,300 acres, Whitetail Club sits near the southern shores of Payette Lake, in McCall, Idaho just two hours north of Boise. The area is a family-friendly mountain community complete with dining, recreation, fitness facilities and a golf course. Find more here.
Rucker himself has a lot of excitement going on these days. In just a few weeks, he will release a new single, "True Believers," which will be the lead-off cut from his third solo album -- slated for release this fall.
"We just finished the vocal for the single, and I'm excited," he said in an exclusive interview with Billboard. "I think this is the best record I've ever made, and I can't stop listening to it. On 'Charleston, SC 1966' we just wanted to pick up where we left off, but with the new album, Frank Rogers (his producer) and I wanted it to sound a little different."
Since the Hootie & the Blowfish frontman made his country debut in 2008 with "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," he has been on the road non-stop. It's a pace he likes. "I don't plan to slow down anytime soon," he says with a laugh. "I wanted to make country records, and my manager got me a deal. But, I didn't know if I was going to get to make another one. Now, they are letting me do a third, and probably a fourth, so I don't want to stop or slow down."
One of the surprise cuts on the new album is "Wagon Wheel," a song that was made famous by alt-country's Old Crow Medicine Show. The track features a guest cameo from Rucker's touring partners, Lady Antebellum.
"I heard it and thought it was a great record. I was at my daughter's high school talent show," he recalls, "and the faculty did 'Wagon Wheel.' So, I texted Frank, and told him I wanted to cut it. I was on tour with Lady Antebellum at the time, and they came in and sang on it. They took it to a whole new level, because it went from being the last song on the record to a possible single."
Rucker also performed the song with the Old Crow Medicine Show on the Grand Ole Opry recently, something he definitely enjoyed. "That's how God works," he said. "That was another special night at the Opry. I have so many of them, and that was another one."