Hootie & the Blowfish

Hootie & the Blowfish

Hootie & the Blowfish's mainstream pop variation of blues-rock brought the band to the top of the charts in 1995. Formed at the University of South Carolina, the group features lead vocalist-guitarist Darius Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim "Soni" Sonefeld. The name refers to two friends of the band, not Rucker and the group itself. Cracked Rear View, the group's first album, was released in the fall of 1994, and a single, "Hold My Hand," worked its way into the Top 10 by the beginning of 1995. Its success propelled the album to No. 1, as well as launching the hits "Let Her Cry," "Only Wanna Be With You" and "Time." They also won Grammys for song of the year ("Let Her Cry") and best new artist.

By the time the group released Fairweather Johnson in the spring of 1996, the debut had sold 13 million copies in the U.S. alone. (The total would eventually reach 16 million.) Although Fairweather Johnson entered the charts at No. 1 and sold 2 million copies within its first four months of release, it didn't produce any hit singles on the level of "Hold My Hand" or "Let Her Cry."

Musical Chairs followed in 1998 and was certified platinum later that year. The album Scattered, Smothered & Covered was issued in 2000. It featured previously unreleased material, songs polled by the fans and Hootie's own tributes to R.E.M. and the Smiths. A self-titled effort and Best of Hootie & the Blowfish: 1993-2003 were both released in 2003. Afterwards, the band parted ways with Atlantic Records.

The band recorded Looking for Lucky in Nashville with producer Don Gehman (who also produced Cracked Rear View). They will release it on their own label, Sneaky Long Records, with distribution by Vanguard Records.