by Marcus K. Dowling
This week, Darius Rucker’s current single “Beers and Sunshine” finishes its six-month ascent to the top of Billboard’s Country Airplay chart. It’s the icon’s tenth number-one country single in thirteen years. However, during an appearance on the Superstar Power Hour for Radio.com’s Katie and Company program, the Grand Ole Opry member noted a moment where he was intimidated to sing one of his top-charting hits.
“Man, have you heard the demo?! I could never sing it like that! He kills that song. I could never open my mouth and sing it like that because it’s too great.”
This was in response to hearing Chris Stapleton’s 2009-recorded demo of Rucker’s 2010 single “Come Back Song.” At the time, Stapleton — and the song’s co-writer Casey Beathard — was a songwriter working in Nashville pitching songs for the ex-Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer’s second country album Charleston, SC 1966.
Rucker recalls his producer prodding him to sing the song, then finally admitting to not wanting to sing it because Stapleton’s demo version was “incredible.” However, after more conversation and arrangement changes to better fit Rucker’s vocal range, the track was recorded. “Of course, it was the first single off the record,” Rucker jokingly recalls.
This year finds Rucker surging to another level of renown in country music. To wit, he’s finished a new album. Regarding the forthcoming release — for which one studio session remains to “knock out some new arrivals” — he says, “It’s pretty much done. I’m real happy, excited, and ready for the next single to come out. I’m ready to get back on the road like everybody else… start playing shows for people, you know. Play these songs out live.”