Darius Rucker's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

Jim Wright
Darius Rucker

When Darius Rucker announced his intentions to record a country album in 2008, one might have had their reservations. After all, Rucker was the lead singer of Hootie & The Blowfish, one of the most successful pop/rock bands of the 1990s. While Music City loves it when one of their acts cross over to other genres, it generally isn’t too receptive to reverse crossover attempts.

However, in the case of Darius Rucker, any doubts that the industry may have had about his intentions were silenced pretty quickly. Five of his first six country singles hit the top of the charts, and he has become one of the most bankable artists in the format -- recently ringing up another number one with “If I Told You.” He is one of the torch-bearers for the format, becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry -- and even hosting his own monthly golf show on SiriusXM. As we gear up for the tenth anniversary of his move to the country-side, let’s take a look back at ten Dairus Rucker songs that have definitely made an impressions.

Best Songs: Alabama | Alan Jackson | Blake Shelton | Brad Paisley | Carrie Underwood | Chris Stapleton | Conway Twitty | Dierks Bentley | Dixie Chicks | Dolly Parton | Eric Church | Garth Brooks | George Jones | George Strait | Jason Aldean | Johnny Cash | John Denver | Keith Urban | Kenny Chesney | Kenny Rogers | Lady Antebellum | Merle Haggard | Miranda Lambert | Patsy Cline | Rascal Flatts | Reba McEntire | Shania Twain | Thomas Rhett | Tim McGraw | Toby Keith | Waylon JenningsWillie Nelson | Zac Brown Band

10. Darius Rucker - "This"


Sometimes, the most direct path to the heart is the most simple route. This 2011 chart-topper for Rucker was all about the important things in life that he knew well -- being a husband and a father. The direct message of the lyrics resonated with fans, making this his fifth number one hit.

9. Darius Rucker - "Southern Style"

Spend any time in conversation with the singer, and you will realize how much he loves his native South. In fact, he co-authored this tribute to the land below the Mason-Dixon Line with Tim James and Rivers Rutherford. The song was the title track of his excellent 2015 release, arguably the best album of his career.

8. Darius Rucker - "History In The Making"

Chances are that you’re not really thinking about making a significant impact as you go about living your life. After all, the goal of most of us is simply to get through the day, and see the next one. This Darius Rucker song is simply about embracing that moment and letting fate happen -- in this case, the start of a new relationship.

7. Darius Rucker - "Alright"

Rucker partnered with producer Frank Rogers to pen this 2009 million-seller about a man who didn't need a lot of frills in his relationship -- just being with that special someone was great enough. Riding the crest of his first two country singles going number one, this became his chart-topper in a row -- and first Platinum single.

6. Darius Rucker - "Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It"

"Hootie’s Gone Country" was the headline among country-related publications in the spring of 2008, when it was announced that Rucker would be making a foray into country music. There were definitely skeptics on how long it would last, but Rucker silenced his critics from the start with a commitment to the country format -- and some incredible material, such as this song about a man looking back wistfully on a failed relationship. The track became Rucker's first to top the country chart in October 2008.

5. Darius Rucker - "Wagon Wheel"

Rucker had heard of the song for years, but it didn’t really move him much. However, when he heard his daughter’s marching band performing the song at a high school function, he began to re-think the song. Rucker turned in an energetic performance of the song, but what helped to but it over the top was the buoyant harmonies applied to the track by his Capitol Nashville label-mates Lady Antebellum.

4. Darius Rucker - "If I Told You"

It’s rare for a record company to lead a new album with a ballad -- particularly in the spring or summer. So, right away, this Darius Rucker song had that strike against it. However, his passionate delivery -- and Universal’s ace promotion team -- kept the fight strong, making this his first number one hit in four years. It’s the lead single from his upcoming When Was The Last Time disc.

3. Darius Rucker - "Homegrown Honey"

The biggest hit from his Southern Style album was written by Rucker along with Nathan Chapman and Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley. There were no deep emotional messages in the song, it just simply made you smile when you heard it. Rucker shot the fun video for the tune in his native South Carolina, setting up shop at Coastal Carolina University in Conway for a large portion of the shoot.

2. Darius Rucker - "Come Back Song"

Again, one of the aspects of Rucker’s career in the country format has been the overall simplicity of his lyrics. The messages are honest yet very forthright, without a lot of bells and whistles. The singer wrote this 2010 single with Casey Beathard and Chris Stapleton -- who has done pretty well in the seven years that have passed since they struck Gold with the song -- literally.

1. Darius Rucker - "It Won’t Be Like This For Long"

The only thing certain about children is that they don’t stay young forever. This touching Darius Rucker song remains one of the best in his considerable arsenal, touching the emotional chords of both parents who are in the process of raising children -- and those whose babies have long since spread their wings and flown off on to their own course. The song is as true today as it was nine years ago, the mark of a lasting composition.