Capitol Nashville recording artist Darius Rucker recently released his debut single “Homegrown Honey” from his upcoming fourth country album. Rucker’s three previous albums (Learn To Live, Charleston, SC 1969 and True Believers) have all debuted at the top of the Billboard Country albums chart. Recent album True Believers features the Platinum-certified, ACM and CMA nominated, GRAMMY award-winning two week No. 1 single “Wagon Wheel.” Rucker’s first two country albums, Learn To Live and Charleston, SC 1966 produced five No. 1 singles including “Come Back Song,” “This,” “Alright,” “It Won’t Be Like This For Long” and “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It.” In 2009 Rucker was named New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards. He achieved a personal goal and childhood dream when he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on October 16, 2012.
Darius Rucker has released his new single, “Straight to Hell,” a remake of the 1989 Drivin’ ‘N Cryin’ hit, featuring his famous friends Luke Bryan, Charles Kelley of Lady Antebellum and Jason Aldean. Darius recorded the favorite bar singalong once Charles talked him into it, and he enlisted even more star power once he decided to take it into the studio when working on his new album, When Was the Last Time.
“It came out in ’89 when I was just playing clubs with Hootie [& the Blowfish]. It was a big song to us. It was a big song to everybody around us. It was a big Southern song, and I always thought it was a country song,” says Darius from the set of the video for “Straight to Hell.”
“I wanted to cut it and Charles told me I should cut it one day, and I just started calling my friends. I called Charles. I called Jason. I called Luke, and I said, ‘Hey man, I’m doing this song.’ They all loved the song, and we got to do a video for it.”
“It was funny. We were sitting around one night — ‘cause we hang out all the time, we play a lot of golf — we were drinking and listening to Drivin’ ‘N Cryin’ and ‘Straight to Hell’ came on and I was like, ‘Dude, you could do ‘Straight to Hell,’ recalls Charles. “I was like, man, it kind of reminded me a little bit kind of the phenomenon of ‘Wagon Wheel,’ how big that song is. We had the crazy idea of like, ‘Dude you should do this.’ And he goes, ‘If I’m gonna sing it, you’ve got to be on it.’ And so the next thing you know, we start talking and he goes, ‘We need some other people.’ Literally, I think he reached out to Luke, and the next thing you know – I can’t remember how it all happened – but I think Jason was like, ‘Why didn’t you call me and ask me?’ And so all of a sudden, we have this little foursome, The Troublemakers as Darius likes to call it.”
Darius will kick off his co-headline Summer Plays On Tour with Lady Antebellum July 19th in Toronto, Ontario.
Darius Rucker (STH) OC: …great day. :30
“This is an old Drivin’ ‘N Cryin’ song. It came out in ’89 when I was just playing clubs with Hootie [& the Blowfish]. It was a big song to us. It was a big song to everybody around us. It was a big Southern song, and I always thought it was a country song. Drivin’ ‘N Cryin’ is a big rock band, and I always thought it was a country song. I wanted to cut it and Charles told me I should cut it one day, and I just started calling my friends. I called Charles. I called Jason. I called Luke, and I said, ‘Hey man, I’m doing this song.’ They all loved the song, and we got to do a video for it. This is really cool, man. It’s been a great day.”
Charles Kelley (STH idea) OC: …call it. :58
“It was funny. We were sitting around one night — ‘cause we hang out all the time, we play a lot of golf — we were drinking and listening to Drivin’ ‘N Cryin’ and ‘Straight to Hell’ came on and I was like, ‘Dude, you could do ‘Straight to Hell.’ I said, ‘It’s one of those songs that was such a big regional hit, kind of in the Southeast, you know. I went to the University of Georgia, and it was a huge bar band, cover band type of song. But like people like my wife, who went to Arizona State, never had heard of the song. I was like, man, it kind of reminded me a little bit kind of the phenomenon of ‘Wagon Wheel,’ how big that song is. We had the crazy idea of like, ‘Dude you should do this.’ And he goes, ‘If I’m gonna sing it, you’ve got to be on it.’ And so the next thing you know, we start talking and he goes, ‘We need some other people.’ Literally, I think he reached out to Luke, and the next thing you know – I can’t remember how it all happened – but I think Jason was like, ‘Why didn’t you call me and ask me?’ And so all of a sudden, we have this little foursome, The Troublemakers as Darius likes to call it.”
Charles Kelley (STH idea) 2 OC: …together. :13
“You know, we kinda started this whole thing. It’s really fun. I hope it leads to something else too. We’ve been laughing…we’ve been such close friends, the four of us, for so many years that I think it’s only fitting that we finally do a song together.”
Luke Bryan (STH idea) OC: …and Charles. :16
“Darius called me up and asked me to be a part of this song. When I was in college, I’m Going ‘Straight to Hell’ was one of the biggest college anthems that there was, and I was honored to be a part of this with Darius and Jason and Charles.”
Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776, declaring independence from Great Britain. The holiday is commonly associated with fireworks displays, parades, barbecues and concerts. Some of your favorite country stars take time to remember their Fourth of July traditions, memories and what the holiday really means to them.
Several artists will perform during Independence Day celebrations. Keith Urban will take part in the annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular, along with Blake Shelton, Kelly Clarkson and Ricky Martin, which will be broadcast July 4th at 8pm ET on NBC.
Carrie Underwood will headline the Fourth of July Hot Country Live event, launching Spotify’s new live concert series based on the streaming services Hot Country Playlist. It will take place at the Seaport’s Rooftop at Pier 17 concert venue.
Lady Antebellum will headline the free July 4th concert in downtown Nashville. The “Let Freedom Sing” concert event will also feature performances by Chris Janson and Lucie Silvas. Following the show, there will be a 30-minute fireworks show, which is touted as one of the biggest in the country and will be synchronized to a live performance from the Nashville Symphony.
Lauren Alaina will perform during A Capitol Fourth, an annual Independence Day special on PBS. Luke Combs will also perform. A Capitol Fourth, hosted by John Stamos, will air live from the West Lawn of the White House on July 4th at 8pm ET on PBS.
AJ (fave 4th of July memory) OC: …very cool. :58
Well, this one is hard to beat. A couple of years ago, maybe longer than that now, I had an old boat in Florida. It’s like an old antique motor yacht, and it was kind of a cool old boat. I had taken that boat, I’ve always wanted to take it up north like to New York and up in that area, up in the northeast where it’s so pretty. So, we took the boat up there and Denise and the girls, we all went up. They like going to New York City, which I don’t really care about going to the city. So, I got to stay in my boat there at the harbor tied up, which was cool anyway. So they spent time in the city a few days and then that was Fourth of July, and we went out in the Hudson River that night and they shot the fireworks off and we were anchored out in front of the Statue of Liberty and New York City was behind us, and the Statue of Liberty and the fireworks were going off sitting on that boat. That was the coolest thing and my girls still talk about that. I mean, that was the coolest thing on Fourth of July I can ever remember. I can’t top that one probably. It was emotional sitting there watching the Statue of Liberty and thinking about all that. It was very cool.”
Billy Currington (4th of July) OC: …of my life. :16
“My best memories would be hanging out with my mom, brother and sister on the beach on Tybee Island right off the coast of Savannah, Georgia. We’d go there every year, and we’d light our own fireworks and watch the ones that they had for us. They were the best times, some of the best times of my life.”
Brandon Lay (Fourth of July) OC: …good times. :47
“I remember everybody hanging out at my grandmother’s and we would drive down the road to a fireworks stand off the side of Highway 45 out there in Jackson [Tennessee]. Just getting the bottle rockets and Black Cats and bringing ‘em back to the house, it felt like it was an eternity before it got dark. We just kept wanting to light ‘em and our parents would tell us it ain’t time, but just how exhilarating it was to see ‘em shoot up. We’re not talking big time fireworks here, but you would’ve thought that it was. It’s funny just how you remember things, but I just remember a screen door at my grandmother’s, running in and out, in and out, in and out and four wild little cousins running around. It was good times.”
Clare Dunn (Fourth of July) OC: …with your family. 1:12
“Fourth of July is probably one of the biggest memories for me, because it’s always during harvest time. And harvest time, being a farmer, is your most important time of the year. It’s always nine-o. It’s always busy, busy, busy, busy, busy, but we always go into town, depending on what field we’re at. A lot of my memories are South Grenada, Colorado, we farm just south of that town, and we go into town and get Mexican food, a great Mexican food place called Shorty’s, and we get tostados and enchiladas and we take them back out to the field. And everybody stops for a second and we eat on the hoods or the tailgates of pickups, and we’re just all out there in the field taking a brief moment to eat dinner and then get back to cutting. And if you’re lucky you’ll see some fireworks from town. Those are some of my favorite memories growing up because you’re all out there working. You’re together, and it’s just the moment of pride, of getting the harvest in and getting to be with your family.”
Darius Rucker (fireworks) OC: …off once. :15
“Oh, I love fireworks. We had the bottle rocket fights and all that good stuff. I was the typical little crazy kid, you know. In South Carolina, it was always legal, so we shot fireworks when it was legal. We did all that sort of stuff. I almost blew my hand off once.”
Dierks (people are America) OC: …all about. :17
“The definition of America to me, you know, getting a chance to travel across the country on a tour bus, stepping upon stages whether it be county fairs, state fairs, arenas, rock bars, the Opry stage, anywhere across the country and looking out at that crowd and seeing people. The people, to me, are what America’s all about.”
Eric Church (4th of July) OC: …freedoms. 1:17
“The Fourth of July for me, growing up we would always go to the lake, we didn’t live on the lake but we would all go to the lake. Had a buddy who had a pontoon and we would always get on the pontoon and you go out and you’d tie all the pontoons together and just have a big time. This was before, I was younger then, the adults were having more fun than we were, you know it was just to go swim in the water and shoot off fireworks. Basically, water tailgating is what it was. And then as we got older, same thing…we would just, us younger kids had our own boat and we had as much fun as the adults.”
Jordan Davis (Fourth of July) 2 OC: …really cool. :17
“Probably baseball games, firework shows at baseball games. We’d go to Shreveport Captains games, so yeah, we’d do that or barbecues and fireworks. I can remember being on the lake for a couple of Fourth of Julys. We’d take the boat out and we’d watch the downtown fireworks show from the boat, which was really cool.”
Josh Turner (fireworks) OC: …of money. [laughs] :20
“Yeah, we had fireworks around, especially my Daddy’s family. All the individual families had a lot of competition with each other and tried to outdo each other to try to see who had the biggest and baddest fireworks and all that. [laughs] My daddy, I think, was the smartest one. He just went out and bought maybe $25 worth of fireworks and let everybody else put on the big show, so he saved a lot of money.” [laughs]
Keith Urban (coming to America 1st time) OC: …as I could. :39
“1989 was the first year I came to the States, and it had always been my goal, but I had no plan on how to get here. It was just a case of keep playing, keep getting better at what you do, and then hopefully, somehow, some way I’ll end up over here. The guy who was managing me at the time, we just planned a trip over here – it was actually for the New Music Seminar in New York. And we came over for that, and then we did a trip down to Nashville, and I was shopping my little demo around. I think I humored everybody more than anything else [laughs] with my tragic, ill-fitting demo for the time. So, I left there, but I was just so committed to coming back as quick as I could.”
Lady A (4th of July-Hillary) OC: …on my hand. :29
“For many, many years in a row, we would be up at the lake for Fourth of July, and having those memories of being on the boat and going tubing and skiing and enjoying being out in the summertime, great weather on the water. But, then for me, Fourth of July was when [husband] Chris [Tyrell] proposed. So, I got proposed to on July 2nd up at the lake, the same lake I grew up going to, and so that’s probably the biggest highlight of Fourth of July to me – getting a rock on my hand.”
Lady A (Fourth of July-Dave) OC: …and America. :45
“July fourth is always, for me, my birthday week. My birthday is July 5th so we grew up going on family trips to the beach. We would always go to Hilton Head, South Carolina and always take trips for my birthday, so that’s always a fun time of the year…watch fireworks. I think my best memory would be my birthday party when I was 9 or 10 years old. We went to the batting cages and I remember I was swinging so hard, it was 100 degrees outside, I was swinging in the batting cage and ended up passing out right there in the batting cage. You’re trying so hard to hit the ball, you’re a kid and you really don’t realize how much water you should be drinking and [CHARLES: “Dave was that kid.”] I was that kid who was on the ground in the batting cage, people fanning and pouring water all over my face. Happy Birthday to me and America.”
LBT (military) OC: (Karen) …whenever we can. (Kimberly: “Yeah.”) :22
“It’s such a huge sacrifice what these men and women do for us, and not only the ones that are serving, but the families that are left here at home. I mean, it’s just a huge commitment that they make, and what an honor. We love to be able to sing for them and entertain them and to say thank you whenever we can.” (Kimberly: “Yeah.”)
Luke Bryan (4th of July memories) OC: …we used to. :21
“Some of my favorite Fourth of July memories were spent on Lake Blackshear down in Georgia with my family. I was always kind of in charge of driving home from Tennessee and picking up all the fireworks and my nieces and nephews always got excited when I rolled in because they knew I had all the fireworks. But, it was always a great memory, and I miss not getting to do that as much as we used to.”
Maddie & Tae (Fourth of July) OC: …it’s perfect. :29
TAE: “One of my favorite Fourth of July traditions – I’d say it’s a tradition ‘cause it happens every year, but I’m not always able to make it – is that we go to my grandparents in Oklahoma, and we all line up lawn chairs right in front of their garage and we just light fireworks. We always do it far away and then we light it, and we always run back and watch the fireworks, but that’s probably one of my favorite memories.” MADDIE: “My birthday is July 7th, so I always get built-in fireworks for my birthday, and sometimes we actually celebrate it on the 4th, because there’s fireworks everywhere, so it’s perfect.”
Sam Hunt (Fourth of July) OC: …good time. :39
“My granddad on the other side of my family, he would always take a lot of pride…fireworks were actually, I’m from Georgia, and most of them were illegal, I’m pretty sure, growing up. But over in Alabama, that’s where all the firework stands were, and we only had to drive 10, 15 minutes to get to the Alabama line, so we could go get a bundle of fireworks pretty easy. But he would always take a lot of pride in going and finding all the good stuff, and coming back with a big pile. He’d have his torch out there at the end of the driveway and we’d all eat homemade ice cream and put down towels on the driveway and he’d shoot off fireworks for 30-45 minutes. Such a good time.”
Travis Denning (Fourth of July) OC: …will love. :51
“Fourth of July in Warner Robins, Georgia is an event. It’s something else. In fact, forever they’ve thrown an Independence Day concert, and back in the day, it was huge. It was the biggest thing they did all year. They would actually have the concert in the MAC (McConnell-Talbert Stadium), which was the high school football stadium that Warner Robins and Northside and Houston County shared. I mean, one year they had Wynonna play and then they had Josh Turner one year, Darius Rucker. I mean it was like a big deal, and there’d be 15,000, 20,000 people there, and I think it’s so cool that there’s a little bit of a legacy of people coming together in that town and making something happen, you know? I’ll never forget going to those shows and thinking, I was more proud of what the city had done. I was like, ‘That’s just so cool that they could put together a show like this, an event that everybody will love.”
“Hey! This is Alan Jackson, wishing you a happy and safe Fourth of July.”
“Hey guys! I’m Billy Currington, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”
“What’s up, everybody? This is Brandon Lay, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey y’all! I’m John, and I’m TJ, and we are Brothers Osborne, wishing you a very Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! This is Clare Dunn, wishing you a very Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey y’all, what’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a very, very happy Fourth of July!”
“Happy Birthday, America!”
Hey everybody! This is Dierks Bentley, wishing you a Happy and safe Fourth of July.
“Hey this is Eric Church, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! This is Eric Paslay, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! This is Gary Allan. Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hi, it’s Jon Pardi, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! I’m Jordan Davis, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! It’s Lauren Alaina. Have a safe and happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Fourth of July!”
“Hey! This is Luke Bryan, wishing you a very happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey everybody! I’m Maddie, and I’m Tae and we’re Maddie & Tae, wishing you a safe and happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey! This is Mickey Guyton, wishing you a Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey everybody! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a safe and Happy Fourth of July.”
“Hey y’all! It’s Travis Denning, wishing you a safe and Happy Fourth of July.”