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[00:00:06]

Hello, listener, welcome to Smart List. This is a podcast that is basically its little chat show, and there's there's three dumb dudes asking dumb questions to a slightly smarter guest. And this guest is a mystery to two of the question askers.

[00:00:22]

I've never brought this up before, but your tone sounds like an information video. Look at a funeral home. Yeah, I'm just trying to get on with it. You know, this is what you can expect in the funeral process.

[00:00:30]

I don't even know why we're still doing explanations of what the podcast is. People know what they're tuning into.

[00:00:37]

Just ask them to listen like it, like a credit sequence of a show, like they get it. They know where they're at. Get on with the story. Yeah, right. Yeah. Just let's just start the episode. Right. It's all new. Smart.

[00:00:47]

Let's welcome listener to smart lists. Yeah. Dotcom.

[00:01:08]

Jason, are you sleepy today? Yeah, no, I'm just what happened? You know what I've realized? I'm 51 years old. I think I'm moody. I think I've realized it's taken.

[00:01:20]

I mean, you guys have known me for a while. Am I a little late to this realization?

[00:01:24]

It must have gone to your junk box because you're the last to get the memo.

[00:01:28]

Yeah, I'm a real squeaky wheel for no reason. We know there's absolutely no reason for me to to be in a bad mood today.

[00:01:37]

Sometimes he's a real grumpy.

[00:01:39]

What is and I say this with all respect to those who seriously suffer from it, but what is the definition of bipolar? I want to know if I can self diagnose.

[00:01:49]

I think it's your high is a real high and your low is a real low and you become manic.

[00:01:55]

Right, can you self diagnose or do you have to ask friends that you're close to me? You just ask me, yeah, what's so what's your opinion?

[00:02:01]

Do I qualify for that? Let's say?

[00:02:03]

Why don't you take a sip of that? OK, so that's just plain water, right? Or is that why you have it? You have it.

[00:02:11]

You know, you you by the way, I mean, I think everybody's been feeling and again, not to not to diminish people who have this clinically, but depression. I think that there have been levels. I think that there are levels of it and people have been experiencing it.

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I certainly I started going on Prozac right before this podcast pandemic. Oh, right before lunch.

[00:02:31]

Right before lunch today, before the pandemic. Did you sense there was a disturbance in the force? And, you know, I did not. I just heard you were like a bitter pill up because something wicked this way comes.

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No, no, I we talk about that later, but yeah. No, I should have been taking it 20 years ago, but it's I started my happy pill 20 years ago.

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I'm a big, big advocate.

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Yeah. So I yeah I but but it's beneficial that I'm taking it now that we've been.

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I'm surprised that it took you this long to because I find your life depressing. So you know what I mean. Because you talking to me or is he talking to you. Sean. I'm talking to both of you. Both of us. Got it. OK.

[00:03:09]

OK, so guys, as I introduce this guy, you guys are going to know who he is right off the bat, so. This fella who I'm a huge fan of, he grew up in the South Charleston, North Carolina, and and is an unbelievably incredible singer songwriter.

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He formed his now famous band back in 86 about and about a decade later when a couple of Grammys sold over 25 million records. The name of the band, this is how you're going to get it is Hootie and the Blowfish.

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And the name of the superstar is Darius Rucker. What?

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There is record. I said it before you. Hello. Hi, Darius. Hello. And he's holding a mic like a rock star should. Absolutely.

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I am absolutely perfect because I couldn't black my mikes stand on my back, so I got old.

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And now is that a what do you call a euphemism?

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No, no, it's not, because I've heard will say that before and never knew what he was talking about. That was after his. Oh, wow.

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You know, you're your name actually sounds Southern. It sounds like Matthew McConaughey would have a blast with your name.

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Oh, yeah. I like what he says. Hey, hey. There is I like being so relaxed all the time.

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He is so relaxed when I was younger, you know. Which is not recent shun having a tough time remembering because it was so long ago. I just want to check your notes, but I'm dead serious.

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I would be in my car listening to your songs.

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I bought all your CDs and I would try so hard to sound like you when I sang because your voice is one of the best, coolest voices I've ever heard.

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And it's so, like, so identifiable.

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And did you always sing like that? Like, when did you open your mouth and realize, hey, I think I have a pretty cool voice. Oh, thank you.

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Say that everybody doesn't want to be with you. Everybody does that. They just want to know. Exactly. Exactly.

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I like to think there is that your singing career began just one day you were driving and out of the blue you went, oh, I want to be I'm going to start a band. I'll start a band, actually date.

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It's all I wanted to do since I was four, when I was a four year old, I discovered Al Green and it was big for me. I thought he was a genius.

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Yeah. So did you sign him right there? Yeah.

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I mean, you just let him to it. I got it. I discover it. It was great for me. And ever since I was a kid, this is all I've ever wanted to do. I'm really surprised. I was talking to a friend last night about it. And it's just shocking that, you know, I'm 54 years old. I'm still going to do it at this level. It's pretty crazy. Yeah.

[00:05:43]

Dariusz So with the advantage of hindsight now and and all the sort of accrued debt over the last, I don't know, 20, 30 years, maybe that's it's been that long since iTunes sort of changed the music industry into what it is today. As far as brick and mortar stores going away, what is the section of people in the industry that have benefited from that versus those that are at a disadvantage now? Or is it good for everyone across the industry now that they've had a chance to kind of find some equality with some of the some of the parts of it?

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It's good for the consumer. It's great for the consumer because music is so easy to get. No, I mean, when we were younger, we had to go stand in line at the record store on Tuesday to buy the new record. You know, now you just get it on your phone or go to wherever that's been. Great. The people who started those businesses, it's been great. Yeah. Here. And even the record companies, you know, it's been great.

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But the laws haven't caught up for the artist yet. Like the CEO of Spotify walks away with billions of dollars and we're making point zero zero zero one cent every time they play my song. Right. To tell me, do you feel like some of the magic has gone? Because there isn't that anticipation of waiting, like you were saying, waiting to. Oh, yeah. I remember the first record that I went and bought on my own. I was eleven.

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It was 1981, and I took the subway downtown Toronto to but Donna Summer album and Donna Donna Summer MacArthur Park.

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No, no. To buy to buy AC DC Dirty Deeds done dirt cheap. Yeah. That was the first record I bought. Instantly regretted it. But is some of the magic gone in that process.

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Oh yeah. I think that feeling of waiting for that record and getting it and open it up and read in the liner notes and you know, looking at the pictures of what if that's gone and the thing even for artists like artists now, like I still make records, like I still I still make albums that I want people to listen to back and forth to get. People are just out there making singles now. They don't write. It doesn't matter.

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That whole process doesn't matter.

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Is it true that you have to kind of play this game of releasing the music, knowing you're not going to get a kind of monetary reward from it? Because the way to make a living now is just touring and touring only.

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This is the perfect explanation of pre digital is when we were doing our thing. The only reason we went on tour like Jewelleries, we went up Botros was to make people buy records. That's the only reason we went on the tour was I mean, you were making money touring, but you're making serious money selling records. You just out there trying to get people to go buy records. And now today, the only reason you make a record is so you can you right.

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Then amazing. I mean, it's the exact opposite.

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So basically the one hundred percent of the ninety percent of the income from the band is ticket sales and concessions and souvenir T-shirts, then has your percentage of the gate and the souvenirs and stuff like that. Has that gone up or is it stayed the same?

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You know, it's gone up just because, you know, my my standing in the music business is going up. But, you know, the basic things are still the same as they were. So that's a negotiation point as far as percentage of ticket sales and concessions and stuff like that. It wasn't something that was put on the table as a negotiation point, as sort of a make good sense. Record sales went away for artists, the venues and whatnot.

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Didn't say, OK, so now you can have some of the gate. It's just it's always been the same. And the more juice you have in the industry, the bigger percentage you get exactly what they should today.

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Look at LaGuardia. They're looking to make money, right?

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Yeah. They don't feel bad for you. Right. Madison Square Garden is like, oh, dear. You know what? You guys haven't sold that many records. So you give you 80 percent of the gate to get you in the head.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah. But it must. Is that funny, the way that that flipped when when was that moment?

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Do you remember like a year when the sales kind of went that way and became touring and what Apple Music came about when I tune started and people could get it on the phone and, you know, and when when, you know, Napster started and they didn't try to buy it, they tried to try to crush it. If the record labels got together and bought it, they would own it. You know, they had that they would own the technology.

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And that was really where it all changed was that I'm assuming that there is a union for these four, four artists that could have and perhaps now in hindsight should have said, hang on a second, Apple. Worse, you're not allowed to do that. We have an infrastructure and a way in which to monetize album sales and whatnot. You can't come in and now turn it into an all card business and just relegate any income for bands to touring and merchandising and stuff like that.

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We say no.

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As a union we tried, but it was such new technology. And, you know, it wasn't that there weren't any laws, there was no laws governing what was happening.

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And was it somehow spun as well? Don't worry about it's going to be beneficial. They're they're still going to be Tower Records, but this is going to be on top of it and we're going to figure it out.

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Exactly. It's going to be more exposure. Exactly. You know, we'll figure out the money. People are listening to your music. It's good for you guys.

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But it's a great thing. I mean, I'm at that point when I'm not mad at anybody or mad about it, it is what it is. And you've got to do what you've got to do with it.

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I still to this day, feel guilty when I'm like, you know, my daughter's in the car. And I say, you know, what was it the other day we were talking about? And know she's she's 13. She's going like, Dad, have you ever heard this song by The Psychedelic Furs? Am I saying that word right? And I said, yeah. And she started. I said, if you ever heard English beat, like so I start pulling up and I don't I don't own the English Beat an English beat album, but I just could for free just hit the search bar and boom, up comes every song that they've ever recorded.

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And I'm just playing it in my car for no money at all except for this fee that I pay each month. You know, that is just on automatic. Yeah. Yeah. And it's, it doesn't seem it doesn't seem fair. Yeah.

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To, to you guys. I mean I get what you're saying and because it doesn't seem fair to us to either, you know, and we see it, but that's just the way we can do nothing we can do about you know, we had we passed that they passed the law last year, that that helped a little. But it just was it still wasn't really it's just that's just the way it is.

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And some things will never change. Which reminds me, I just brought Bruce Hornsby's record. I got him for the whole thing.

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I love it if you just lift it up a keyboard just right right now, does it matter if he had done that?

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I would I would have to have it.

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There is. I'm going to switch gears for a second here because we're in the cloud. So glad you're on like that with the cloud in the clutch.

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So hang everybody. Hang on tight. This you know, I'm so glad you're here today because being black in America right now and is rightfully so like a global conversation that everybody's having.

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And I'm anxious to get your take on a question I'm sure you're so tired of, which is what has it been like and what is it like now being black in the country music scene since you started?

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And did you experience any racism, inequality, anything like that back then versus now?

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And what has been your overall experience with that?

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Yeah, it overall has been, you know, great. When I first started fourteen years, you know, forty years ago, we did a radio tour where we I went to 110 radio stations. And it was shocking to me because a few I had a few few guys. And I will say right now these guys are still my biggest supporters right now. But I got me down and tell me that I love the song. I think it's country.

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I'm going to try to play it, but I don't think it's going to work because I don't think my audience will ever accept a black country. Wow. Just like that really is. Oh, it's straight up.

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You know, they won't accept it and they don't even they're just listening to it on the radio. Yeah. And they won't accept the notion of it.

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Yeah. That's what he said, you know, and few guys said that, you know, when I went number one, you know, they all called me and said we were all right. Oh, but yeah, that was the mentality of the business at the time that it just there wasn't room for a black singer and country music.

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Everybody wants to be the second person to say yes.

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Exactly, exactly. And then, you know, but once it hit and, you know, now we got King Brown and Jimmy Allen and Mickey Guyton and all these these kids out here have hits in country music that are black. And, you know, I look at it, it's just changing. And somebody asked me early on if I thought I'd change country music when I started having hits. And I just said I just hope some kid who had a CD would actually get listened to instead of getting thrown in the trash because they had a black face on it.

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You know, and it's great to see people having big hits while. Yeah, it was crazy. Sean, this is going to seem out of the blue. Do you have a hard time taking pills? You know, I'm going to say you're not alone. I'm going to say you're not alone because you can get the only Sildenafil into Daleville chewables by visiting blue True.com. It's blue dot com. It's awesome. If you like sex, you'll love blue True.com.

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[00:17:17]

We'll see. Well, when when Darius Rucker first went solo with your first single in 2008, it made it to the top 20 on the Billboard charts, making you the first African-American singer to reach the top of the country charts in like 20 years.

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Yeah, 25 years. Yes. Charley Pride. I didn't even think about that going into it. And when it hit the top 25, somebody came and said that to me. That was you know, I named three or four like Trini Trigg's and these other guys that were black country singers in the 80s and 90s. I thought I might have had a hit or Cowboy Troy today. And and it was crazy to me that 25 years between me and Charley Pride having hits on country radio, did you see yourself as as a sort of a trailblazer?

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Was that ever a notion that you had or. No, you just wanted to make music. And that was and when people told you, though, you're like, oh, you were shocked. Well, I started with Hootie.

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I want to play rock and roll because I want to play rock and roll those guys. You know what I wanted to sing Country. I was going to make the my record in my basement studio with my buddies, you know, drinking beer and make a country record. And my mesbah I thought at the time and thought doesn't didn't see things that way and got me a record deal.

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But you made the transition from rock and roll to country. Yeah. That desire to play.

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Was that always in you like as you were you guys were the biggest band in the world but were you like really not doing what I totally want to do because you were at the top. Top.

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Yeah. I used to ask the guys to play country music like our last couple records. I was like, let's just go to Nashville, make country record. And they'd be like, man, we're a rock band. And so they want to do it. I was the country who's growing up. In the 1989, a guy named Randy Foster came out with a record called Del Rio, Texas, 1959, and it changed my life.

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I heard that record thought someday I want to sound just like that guy. I got to make a country record and I'd say said all the time and they would laugh at me. And finally I got a chance to do it.

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And the draw for country music for you, is it does it live mostly in the in the sound of it, in sort of the the unique instrumentation of it? Or is it in the sort of the the lyrics, the stories that are that are talked about?

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What grabs you most the most is the storytelling. I love the I love how could you tell the stories. But you know, when you get to sing with a with a real good sly guitar playing with you, man or woman. Fiddle playing with you man I get chills thinking about it.

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Do you like sort of the hybrid sound of it, of a band like Wilco to the old guy. Yeah, yeah. I love, you know, Wilco in the silo's back in the day. And, you know, some of the ensemble was huge for me. That first record. Wow.

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I was talking about Son Volt and about Uncle Tupelo with both of you doing. Absolutely.

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Yes. So good. Big for me. Big for me.

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Do you ever venture off and like what would be the most surprising thing you could tell me that you listened to? You got to be like, what, Barry Manilow?

[00:20:05]

Yes, I listen to Barry Manilow. Not surprised. He's not he's not my guilty pleasure. He's awesome. He's awesome. All right. Who's your guilty pleasure then? I don't I mean, I don't think that almost everybody I love I love, like, you know, Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow. And, you know, I threw on a Dean Martin record the other day. And, you know, Dean is just I mean, I love that.

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I love I love everything, man. I love everything. How much are you missing touring right now? Do you miss being out there and playing for people? I'll bet you do. Yeah.

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You know, when you take a week off or two weeks off or three weeks off, you always had that show on the calendar where you knew you were it. You always got to play in Phoenix. I want to play whatever. And not knowing has shown me that I love to play music so much and I miss it so much, man.

[00:20:53]

Are you coming up with songs you probably never would have or melodies you probably never would have because you're sitting there just staring at the walls for weeks and weeks.

[00:21:00]

Yeah, I've written songs in this this next record. I can't wait for people to hear this next record. I've heard so crazy stuff.

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Do you remember the very first song you wrote.

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Oh, and then sing some of it again. It's a buddy of mine and I, he had written most of it and I think I wrote a few lines for it, but he wrote it. But I just remember the chorus was destiny. Destiny, it's destiny. That was a whole course.

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OK, no, it wasn't good. It was at all. It sticks with you though I thing. And I read that you used to like Kenny Rogers.

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Oh love them love. Yeah. I and I toured with Kenny Rogers.

[00:21:40]

Did you. We have to fit this story in every podcast we did. Go ahead. It just I bet you there's a Christmas theme to it. I don't know.

[00:21:49]

Lf I played it Alf and Kenny Rogers Christmas tomorrow and 1994. Yeah that is all. And what happened.

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Or ninety five maybe. No 1995.

[00:22:01]

And we got, we smoked pot every single show and we had our lives and we had to like set up the scenery for the Christmas section of the show.

[00:22:11]

Yeah. How did you guys get around. I was on a tour bus. Come on, we just took a sled.

[00:22:22]

But I remember being on the tour like I never understood the concept of enjoying, like when people say I enjoy being on the road.

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I didn't really enjoy sleeping on the bus with 15 other guys who were the best and the most awesome guys. But just like the bathrooms and the farting and singing until 3:00 in the morning.

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And I was like, guys, I tried it. We have a show tomorrow and anybody what's going on?

[00:22:47]

The squeaky clean guys that I love the cops on your own bandmates. I loved the people.

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And it I just didn't like the traveling part just because there's no home base, you know.

[00:23:05]

Yeah, there's I just didn't know. What was Kenny on a jet or was he always, always. Always on the jet.

[00:23:11]

He was on the jet and you were on the outside. Can't we just go with Kenny now? Yeah, maybe if you'd rolled the joint for him, it was like giving me a ride and he's like, I don't know, extra seats that seats from my bag.

[00:23:23]

That's for my shoes.

[00:23:25]

For my hair. That was my joint roller. Great guy. Great, great.

[00:23:31]

OK, he's a great guy. I'm a big fan. And his Country Music Hall of Fame induction, they asked me to sing Lucille and it was, you know, standing right there in front of Kenny Rogers singing Lucille was wow, that's so great.

[00:23:44]

It's a great song. That was unbelievable.

[00:23:46]

So Dariusz to walk, walk me through. So you guys start Hootie and the Blowfish. What year was that that you guys formed?

[00:23:52]

Eighty six. We started January eighty six, January eighty six was our first show up in Charleston, now in Columbia, South Carolina at the University of South Carolina. Go, Cock's, go, come.

[00:24:03]

Yeah, I'll say sure. If I had a you'll say so let that breathe. Let's keep laughing. And so. So you're you're in Columbia, South Carolina at the University of South Carolina.

[00:24:21]

You start Hootie and the Blowfish with a couple of your buddies. Yeah. You guys were in college together, I'm guessing. Yep. College together. And what was the first gig? Our first gig was a chicken wing joint. It was right across my dorm. Come on, let's call Papis. Pappy was an old Marine and if he caught you with a fake I.D., he banged the big part until everybody looked and he cut your I.D. up as you embarrassedly walked out.

[00:24:46]

And that was I was in and he had just a chicken wing joined probably fifty people maybe. And Mark and I had been playing for a while, the guitar player, we were the Wolfe brothers. And then that night we became Hootie and the Blowfish.

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How did you change from Wolfe Brothers to the Hootie and the Blowfish? What was something there in the chicken joint? No, I used to give people nicknames all the time and I sang in a show choir in college, Carolina Live. And one guy had these really big eyes and he looked like, you know, so I started called Hootie, looking at how we called him Hootie and his best friend had these huge cheeks like he do the Dizzy Gillespie thing.

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We you know, he was a trumpet player to his cheeks out. So I started calling the Blowfish. And one day we were playing a show with Carolina live and they walked into my room. I had the biggest room, so I was having a party. And they walked into the room and I was like, I lied to myself and said, Hootie the Blowfish and said, Man, that's a great name for a band. I lied straight out to my with that.

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And I came home and said, Mark, in the name of the band Hootie and the Blowfish, he said, Whatever.

[00:25:51]

And the really stupid thing, y'all. I never thought people would call me Hootie never dawned on me that he called me who I was stupid in my house with him.

[00:26:00]

I was an idiot. So that's crazy.

[00:26:03]

So you go, so you name this band the week before, just on a whim based on two dudes. And another thing that you're doing, you go to this wing joint, you play a show and you guys were like, hey, this is pretty good. You start playing more shows in Colombia. In Colombia. Yep. And then playing on Colombia. It went pretty quickly. We got a crowd there pretty quick. After a few shows, people come to see us.

[00:26:26]

And then we started going to other towns to hook up with other bands. You know, we played shows with Dave Matthews. We play frat houses with Dave Matthews. Wow. Yeah. I mean, it was you know, we had our Serkin we did the circuit in the south and we went to New York and played some clubs up there and stuff like that, too. But then all of a sudden, you know, after nine years of being the biggest band in the Southeast without a record deal, we got a record deal, I guess, eight years.

[00:26:49]

Wow.

[00:26:50]

So that's so that's ninety four. Whatever, something like that. Early 90s. There are ninety three. We get signed. And what happens after you get signed.

[00:26:57]

We get signed. And the guy our label tells our label president that he puts a cracked review out that Atlantic will be left out of the record business because grunge was so big and it was a mistake to put it out and we put it out and then the Southeast was doing fine. Our single was doing good. He was selling the southeast, but, you know, you can't that doesn't translate to records unless it's everywhere and the story goes. It was a Tuesday afternoon and the only time the station played the song and they played is because the deejay liked the song.

[00:27:27]

I think it was Keroack in New York, but he plays Hold My Hand and Letterman's driving home after the show and he hears hold my hand on the radio and he pulls over to that area or something. He calls his booking agent and says, I want Hootie and the Blowfish on my show this week.

[00:27:42]

Wow. Wow. And we played that Friday. No, that was a Tuesday. And you played Friday.

[00:27:48]

Do we played Friday, got in a private jet to fly to Columbia because we had a show in Columbia that night and Friday. We were a band struggling but doing well and still making money. And by Monday we were about to be the biggest party in the world. It took off that quick because on Letterman, Letterman. Wow.

[00:28:05]

Do you realize there was a year period where he said the name Hootie and the Blowfish on the show every night? No way he would come back for a commercial, look at the call and just go Hootie and the Blowfish and just go with the show almost the whole year.

[00:28:21]

Wow.

[00:28:22]

You and I have something similar that that your mom raised all of you and five kids in my family. How about you? We had six.

[00:28:31]

Yeah, it's not a competition guy when you went.

[00:28:35]

And so there's part of that because for me it is growing up in Chicago now.

[00:28:41]

Heat one winter, the car repossessed the house.

[00:28:44]

I was going away. I could barely feed ourselves, blah, blah, blah, all that stuff.

[00:28:48]

It does drive me incredibly sometimes to a fault, but I don't mind to never want to go back.

[00:28:54]

Yes. And so is some of your discovering your spirituality and coming into that and your drive to success. Is does it come from from any of that? Is that any of that a driving force?

[00:29:04]

It comes off from that. Yeah, my my whole work ethic and my whole having to be successful and having to go out there. And when my mom died, went from something I really wanted to something that I had to make happen.

[00:29:19]

Sure. Because I was second of the youngest kid. And, you know, you know, you basically raised by your siblings because your mom's working all the time. And just like you, you know, sometimes I know it's going to eat and sometimes, you know, we never had air conditioning. And you living in South Carolina where it gets in 105, I say Chicago, no air conditioning.

[00:29:36]

My mom goes, well, just put a bowl of ice in front of the fan. Yes, that's safe. And by the way, it doesn't work it off blowing on you. It's like. Exactly. And with that growing up that way, success for me, it wasn't just for me. It was from my brothers and sisters, too, you know, it was it was for my family, my cousins.

[00:29:56]

It was it was to go out and to show my mom that all of her getting my back as a kid when my brothers and sisters would tell me, you listen to that white boy music while you listen to that white boy music, and she tell him, leave him alone. He listed whatever he wants to listen to and kick him out of the living room, you know, to show her that those days weren't for nothing. I had to be successful.

[00:30:18]

Yeah.

[00:30:18]

So when you grew up, you you only listen to country music? No, I lost everything. I was the rock and roll country to the family. No, no, no. Just me. No, there was Dabi always was do when we were around. His family was RB music.

[00:30:31]

But when I wasn't alone, you know, I used to tune in the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday night. You could get WSM, you know, late night on AM radio. And it was, you know, my mom always had my back. Well, always until she couldn't take it anymore. Like when I was put through my kid's phase and I was playing Kiss all the time. She lets me kiss a lot of you twice and then she'd walk into the river, but go, hey, hey, honey, let's listen to this for a minute.

[00:30:53]

She put that Al Green record.

[00:30:55]

Yeah, she just was a bit much so to your kids now, like, appreciate what you do like, are they into into it or are they just like, oh God.

[00:31:05]

Oh, they like country music, you know, but you. No, I can't say they listen to my records when I put them out there, like, so wild to me, you know, I got a single coming out, my daughter. I said it to my daughter and it's a great song I think is going to be one of the biggest things I've ever had. And the only thing my daughter said to me was my night. He knows that I still think you should say flip flops.

[00:31:25]

I don't like the word flip flops. I was like, you just listen to that song and what you got out of it is the word flip flops. Let me tell you something. My good friend Jimmy Buffett uses flip flops and half his song, and I do very well. He does very well for himself.

[00:31:39]

Absolutely. When I die, I want to come back as Buffett, trust me. Yeah. You know Jimmy at all. I do. He's a great guy. Great. Great dude. Oh, yeah. And by the way, I just want to say this to you guys. We're going getting further. When Sean asked me to do this podcast and my exact words were to my manager was those three guys don't even know who I am.

[00:31:56]

What are you what are you talking about? I'm a gigantic fan. I literally had all your albums.

[00:32:04]

I'm such a major fan of you guys. And it was I was like, man, this is the greatest thing anybody's ever asked me to do.

[00:32:10]

I was like, oh, God. Oh, I so. We honor that, yeah, man, you have no idea. You have no idea. I mean, I truly, truly I'm not making that up. I used to sing to your songs all the time in the car that CDs. Yeah, I put them in the little slot, play the CD and try to sound like you so badly.

[00:32:29]

It was so embarrassing. I'm sorry. What do you try to do. Yeah. Give me just a little bit. I'm not going to do it, you know, because I'm already laughing at myself. When you when you feel it later on, you just do a totally impromptu.

[00:32:53]

Sean Smart is sponsored by Better Help Dotcom, which I know that you and I both really like better help is the best. It's such a great, great service to help anybody who's really kind of struggling with depression or anxiety or like relationships or are having trouble sleeping like me or like feeling stressed, whatever it is.

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Think about everything you've learned about getting healthy right now. Think about all of it. OK. Well, that's OK. I'm gone. So now you're back. Now you're in that spot.

[00:34:51]

There's a lot of contradictory information out there. And things like that old fashioned food pyramid aren't much help. No.

[00:34:57]

And then you add your own misconception or assumption about salt and carbs diets and stuff like that, because I just if that stuff is just constantly swimming, I'm always doing like last minute addition and subtraction when I'm putting food in my mouth. Yeah.

[00:35:10]

And you're making excuses for why this is over that way. You shouldn't.

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OK, I'm going to be honest with you, Sean. Yeah, my goal is to look better and I know what you're going to say. How could you do that? No, I wasn't going to say that. Well, I feel like I was cutting you off. I was going to say good for you.

[00:35:56]

OK, well, just for me, it's about, you know, that feeling when you feel better, when you feel sort of lighter or you feel like you're feeling healthier.

[00:36:04]

That's what I want to do. Yeah. Honestly, I just want to feel better. Noom is based in psychology.

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[00:36:36]

Sign up for noon today at A.M. Dotcom smartarse. There is what I always wanted to know to what made you what inspired you to go from Hooty to solo and why do you think you're successful at it?

[00:36:56]

Because when so many people aren't making a crossover from genre to Chandra, because what would he be like? Folk pop?

[00:37:02]

Yeah. You know, we were a rock band at first, but we were becoming more of Americana. And I think, you know, folky, more band.

[00:37:08]

But and then what are the guys think to when you decided to do all that? A lot of questions in there. Sorry.

[00:37:12]

Yeah, they are. Well, I thought I was going to tour every summer for the rest of our lives. That's just what we did. And we were touring and our drummer got remarried, actually married our guitar player, his ex-wife, and, you know. Yeah, yeah. I gave it to us one day and said he didnt want to be a touring band anymore. I mean, we're all on on the road and I get called into a meeting and that's what he says.

[00:37:35]

And it shocks us because that was like effective immediately or at the end of the tour we're in the middle of the Tories like end of the tour, you know, I'll tour next year, but that's it.

[00:37:45]

And this was after the marriage. So it's Yoko that didn't want you guys going out there, right?

[00:37:51]

Yoko said, no, no, not not no more quota.

[00:37:55]

That's not what I said at all. And I kind of do the math myself.

[00:38:00]

Yeah. So wait, so was the drummer that wanted out there. Wasn't the guitarist saying I won't tour with this son of a bitch anymore because he married my ex-wife? No, no. I want all the dirt derwish right now. That's, you know, the drummer.

[00:38:11]

He said he wanted out. And my first thought was, I guess I'll go make like that to you.

[00:38:15]

I could tell you first thought was not we'll get another drummer. No, I guess I'll go with my country record. No, we would never do that. The four of us of the band, we would never go get another drummer. Like, that's not that wasn't even an option. Once he's gone, that's the end of the day. Yeah.

[00:38:29]

Once one guy leaves, that's the end of the band. But weren't you like, scared to just be like, well, that's it.

[00:38:34]

So I'm going to go make, like, the odds of you succeeding a country. We're probably like. So absolutely. Oh, I mean, and then you just broke through like a rocket.

[00:38:42]

I didn't expect any success. I really didn't like even when I got a record deal, my whole thought was, man, I will make a good enough record. So they'll let me make another record. Uh, I was looking at the picture, looking at the picture of being a black guy, being the guy coming from pop over the country music that never works, you know, and that's just strike one and two. And you and you go in and you think it's never going to work.

[00:39:03]

But I I'll be honest, I signed with the president of the label and he said he called thirteen people the day he decided to sign me. Thirteen that he thought were the tastemakers in Nashville. And twelve of them said it'll never work ever. Wow, wow, wow, wow. Yeah.

[00:39:19]

Did you have trouble creating a band grabbing musicians to create your now your recording band. Your your.

[00:39:25]

No, not at all. Everybody wanted to play like they we had auditions and people were shocked because you don't do that in Nashville. What's that. Auditions. Yeah. You don't do what they do. The Nashville, you know, guys can play it. You pick guys that you say, come play with us, you know, but everybody came to audition and we picked our band.

[00:39:40]

Let's go. And do you ever get tired of playing the hit songs?

[00:39:44]

Because we never tire of hearing them.

[00:39:46]

But do you ever get up there and like, oh, God, I'm one of those guys when I start the opening line of of let her cry. Oh, my hand. You hear that hit from the crowd. Yeah. Yeah. I'll play the rest of my life. Oh wow. Yeah. Every day for the rest of my life. That's great. Absolutely. That's great. And here's something that you've done that's amazing that maybe not a lot of people know is your charitable efforts with the St.

[00:40:11]

Jude's Children's Hospital. You raised over two million dollars so far. Wow. Yeah.

[00:40:16]

Which is crazy and well raised like what was it. Twenty five bucks for some new headshots. Oh, yeah.

[00:40:22]

It's funny, I didn't raise the Internet. They voted on my headshot, which should be known that they were terrible.

[00:40:30]

Otherwise you wouldn't have raised all that money.

[00:40:31]

I wouldn't have raised the money. Right. Well, you get what you pay for.

[00:40:35]

But why St. Jude's Hospital? Why what's important about that one, which is for obvious reasons. But why to you, Sean, why do you hate kids so much?

[00:40:44]

Exactly. That's just I don't have any I don't want them. I want to look at what Dariusz why, according to the Internet, St. Jude's helps kids terrible diseases. They got their whole lives ahead of it. Why wouldn't you choose the I meant to you personally personal connection?

[00:41:06]

Well, I went to visit there and Dirks Bentley and I went there one day and when I started talking to the people and I was talking to one of the doctors and the thing that really got me was how no one has to pay anything. I mean, I know. And when poor folks, kids get sick and they go in the hospitals, they don't just come out of the hospital with their kid being better. They come to the hospital with this bill that is going to be around their neck for the rest of their life.

[00:41:30]

And, you know, since, you know, whenever they fly the kids in, they put the parents up, they feed the parents every day. That was amazing. But then the price of that is crazy. And then the thing that's over the top was when the doctor told me if we found a cure for cancer today, we would put it on the Internet. Tonight, right? And I thought that's unbelievable for a hospital to do that, to put all their cures on the Internet so the hospitals can just go use it.

[00:41:53]

I thought that was amazing.

[00:41:55]

Well, bless you. That's a lot of money for them. And bless you from raising that million bucks. Thank you. Amazing.

[00:41:59]

Thank you, Jason. Just quickly Googled the word charity.

[00:42:03]

Yeah, I'm saying there's there's a sweet charity. There is sweet charity. So did you just perform a bunch of songs from that musical show? Is that we're talking about? Yeah.

[00:42:20]

Yeah.

[00:42:21]

If they could see me now, I actually that's something you guys if I ever do it again, I'll let you guys know because I've done it in L.A. before. But the southeastward guy for Sinatra, his name is Peter Graves. He was Sinatra se guy for like 30 years.

[00:42:34]

And I do it maybe once every other year, but I do a big band show. He puts together a big band for me and we do all like stand as Louis Prima and said, Oh, I love that.

[00:42:45]

I love it.

[00:42:45]

It's fun to watch. If I do it again, I'll let you guys know. Yes, I would love to see. That's a lot of fun.

[00:42:50]

A lot of with all that you've stuck again.

[00:42:55]

I started to fantasize about my father in law's, Paul Anka, and I started thinking he probably would jump up on stage and do all those that would have to jump up on stage.

[00:43:04]

Oh, yeah. Yeah, you guys would be awesome.

[00:43:08]

But with all that you've gone through and everything that where you come from, where you are, the good fortune that has come over you your whole life with your family and music, what is the best advice you've ever gotten or given?

[00:43:26]

The best advice I ever got when I came to country music, Brad Paisley said to me, Be yourself. And he said, don't be what you think they want you to be because they don't want you to be that, and I know some I play with myself, but the way he said it was just I really took it to heart.

[00:43:41]

That's great. He's a good friend of ours. He's awesome. Yeah. Yeah. The best advice I give, he gave us some advice. He said, keep your day job.

[00:43:47]

And I'm not sure what that meant, but he said to me, find a different persona that we understood different personas to go with that. Yeah. Don't trust your instincts. It was very helpful. I love that guy.

[00:44:03]

Well, you are a true rock star in life and everything else.

[00:44:07]

So thanks for being here, Dariusz, today. Oh, no, thank you, guys. Thank you very, very much, buddy. And please let us know next time you come out west with this damn virus goes bye bye.

[00:44:15]

Oh, man, I definitely have to hang out with you guys. That was a lot of fun.

[00:44:18]

Really quick. I just want to say, because I was such a huge fan of Hootie and because I was such a big fan of you there, I followed you over to the country scene where I don't usually roam and I'm a full on supporter and a huge fan.

[00:44:31]

So thanks for inviting me over there and thank you and sharing your stories through your music, which I love.

[00:44:37]

Thank you for saying that. Thank you. Great to meet you.

[00:44:40]

Very cool. Thanks, Terry. See you guys later. All right. Take your picture piece by Buddy. God, he was great, he was great, wasn't he? Yeah. Isn't it wild that all of his songs, when an artist can achieve the when their songs are part of us, that we know all the words, even if we don't know we know them and we want to be with you?

[00:45:01]

Yeah.

[00:45:02]

You just, you know, don't ruin it when it's so rare to achieve in songwriting that level of success where people just know your songs.

[00:45:10]

Right. They're just part of our unconscious, that they're just all in one of them permute. I know it's incredible, those huge.

[00:45:17]

But that's why it's so interesting to, you know, that moment. Like he talks about that week where on a Tuesday they're nowhere to get a phone call because Letterman heard them on the happened to hear them on the one play on the radio. And by Friday they're on the show. And by Monday their album is and their lives changed forever from that moment on.

[00:45:37]

It was great to hear him say that it will when he starts playing one of the heads to get that kind of reception from the audience. He's he's accepting that he's he's he's saying, you know, this is something that I created that is sort of always going to be there. And he doesn't see it as like a you know, some sort of anvil around is right.

[00:45:55]

Because I think one of the biggest mistakes artists make is to run from the thing that made them famous.

[00:46:00]

Yes, right. Is to not embrace it. Because I did that.

[00:46:04]

I made that mistake when I was younger and I was like, I can do other things, like, I'm never going to do magic again. Yeah, well, you know what, man?

[00:46:12]

Sorry. Was that. Yeah, no, but and it's not until you realize, oh, you have to be grateful.

[00:46:21]

We our fans are the reason we are you know, we are in the business and you do the magic dick was a dig at me and every day I thought you might be going back to magic.

[00:46:31]

No, you reveal in a different way every day how much you've not watched Arrested Development like no man, not one. Because you watched it with you haven't watched it with prejudice.

[00:46:40]

Let me just let me just stop you right there. I told you guys I've seen Arrested Development. I've seen the first two episodes. Now, here's the problem.

[00:46:46]

By watching it without a sneer on your face and an an alcoholic beverage in you, it's unbelievable how many episodes if you watch how many have you like this in the comedy?

[00:46:56]

Why won't you look at how many episodes have you seen of Will and Grace other than the ones you were on? I watched one. OK, there you go.

[00:47:04]

It was the one I was on. That's true. I watched so many episodes of Will and Grace with the with the two.

[00:47:12]

Obviously I watched it with I loved Will and Grace and the guy and the bartender in Boston. And you guys all worked in the bar together. Yeah. Is it New York.

[00:47:20]

Everybody wants to know your name. Please don't ask me. Please don't ask me. Please don't ask Jason. What's your favorite. Jason. What's Your Grace.

[00:47:26]

Oh please don't ask me. Did I say that out loud. Oh no, please. Somehow this mic is inside my brain. You know, listen, I love Will and Grace.

[00:47:46]

I mean, who would have ever thought to place a sitcom in a church in New York?

[00:47:52]

I will. And Grace and Frankie, I love that show. So good. And you and Jane Fonda and everybody. Yeah.

[00:47:59]

So the show, it's almost like they were best friends and they're perfect for each other, except for he was gay. So like they were like they couldn't be together.

[00:48:06]

But in a weird way they were kind of like the perfect of like a modern odd couple, modern odd go.

[00:48:13]

All right. Darius was great. What a great show. We love you. Did not know you did not know him before me.

[00:48:20]

No, I never met him. Never met him. No. But I'm a huge fan. Yeah, of course. And so you just reached out just cold call.

[00:48:27]

I drove by his house. I had a mask on.

[00:48:30]

Not not like a surgical mask, like an actual Halloween mask. I, I had a Mike Myers from Halloween masks. He did not sing to him. No, I didn't. Do you feel like you can now.

[00:48:40]

Yeah. Hold my hand. Oh, God.

[00:48:46]

If you close your eyes, would you think you were listening to an album?

[00:48:48]

I think somehow your grandma got a hold of your mic who has been dead for a long time. Thanks a lot. No, I knew that part. That's how bad it was.

[00:48:59]

It sounded like a dead woman in a box. It's like sitting on her chest. And that was the year that came across her lyrics.

[00:49:06]

You know, I'm a woman in a box is the name of my biography. OK, OK, you.

[00:49:17]

Well, you're making me wheeze. OK, guys, that was great.

[00:49:21]

Talk to you later. Bye bye.

[00:49:26]

So that's what the audience is bummed about. But that's how you say they're finding they're good.

[00:49:32]

They're getting their thumb to the stop button before the trademark good bye bye bye.

[00:49:42]

I you so badly you ruin every.

[00:49:45]

They show every show ruined smart. Smart.