This is either the worst or most hilarious photo I've ever taken, depending on your point of view. I opt for hilarity! Yes, that's me and former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker after his show here at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie. And the picture is the result of my GF doing her best with the red-eye reduction feature I'd inadvertently turned on.
Still, it's a unique memento from a fun night out, where we heard some of my favorite songs from college mixed in with some of the songs that made Darius the CMA's New Artist of the Year just a few weeks earlier.
Now, avid readers of the "Space" here might remember I've got a few rules about listening to country music, but for the exception of two or three songs, I didn't really feel like we were at a country show. Instead, it was just like listening to "Hootie" (and, c'mon, who didn't just call Darius "Hootie" back in the day?!) singing some cool songs. It was the same voice doing some new songs, many of the ones that drew a pretty diverse crowd with fans of all ages ... some of them even wore cowboy hats, there weren't as many cowboys hats as at last year's Gretchen Wilson show here. (For the record, I did not wear a cowboy hat.)
Even though we'd only heard a few of his country hits, we weren't disappointed, as Darius sang a few of the tunes that made him famous some 15 years ago.
Now, I'm not old, but I felt it when, in the days leading up to the show, I'd learned two people I know — one a sophomore in college, the other a senior in high school — had never heard of Hootie and the Blowfish, let alone their hits like "Hold My Hand," "Let Her Cry" and "Only Wanna Be With You," all of which Darius played and all of which we loved.
'Cause nobody snagged a better picture with Darius than me after the show!