If you turn on country radio now and wonder why you're hearing the gravelly voice of Hootie & the Blowfish singer Darius Rucker -- yes, he's gone country. And even though "Learn to Live" (due out Sept. 16) isn't the first solo album Rucker has made, it is apparently the one that's breaking up Hootie. The group is reportedly disbanding for the foreseeable future while Rucker gives Nashville a try.
Unfortunately, that means longtime Hootie sideman/Durham resident/original dB Peter Holsapple is out of a job. He broke the news on Saturday in an anguished blog post, which found him ruminating on the Hootie situation as well as the three-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (which drove him out of New Orleans and back to North Carolina):
Impending unemployment has been riding heavily on my shoulders. Hootie and the Blowfish has decided to hang it up, at least for several years, which means my job will also disappear. I had hoped to play with Darius in his solo country band, but his management had other ideas so that's not going to happen. I'd like to keep playing music, and the sub gig with Sugarland is allowing me to do that at least for a few more dates. After that, I don't know.
What I do know is that it's very difficult to look for jobs when you're watching "Ice Road Truckers" or "Deadliest Catch" or any of those shows that are so prevalent. You feel like a big sissy, unqualified to wrangle either a big fish or a big truck through a desparate situation. You look at the calluses at the ends of your fingertips from guitar playing and you think "how pathetic". No outdoor tan, no ruddy complexion, no bulging muscles and sinew. Just a fishbelly-white middle-aged bent-over guitar player who can type eighty words per minute.
I suspect Holsapple is just too good to stay unemployed for very long; but I'm still hoping the universe throws him a break soon.