Having continuously teased new music as he put the finishing touches on his first solo project in six years, three-time GRAMMY winner Darius Rucker now unveils the highly anticipated final project with today’s release of Carolyn’s Boy. Praised by People in the issue on stands today for having “never left his humble roots in the rear view,” Rucker named the album as an homage to his late mother, a woman he celebrates as the sole reason for “who I am, how I am, what I am.” Listen HERE.
“She believed in me more than I believed in myself,” he shared with Jan Crawford on today’s “CBS Mornings.” “She’d tell me all the time, ‘you’re gonna make it; you’re gonna live your dream. I know you are. I can’t wait.’”
Rucker will further discuss the album and his mother’s influence on this weekend’s episode of “Sunday TODAY” via an exclusive interview with Willie Geist on NBC (check local listings), before bringing a feel-good performance of album track “Have A Good Time” to CBS’s “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Thursday, Oct. 10 at 11:35 p.m. / 10:35 p.m. CT.
The series of television appearances continues what has already been a celebratory week for Rucker, including his induction on the Music City Walk of Fame this past Wednesday (October 4th), and an intimate performance that evening at Analog at the Hutton Hotel, taped to air as part of PBS’s “Recorded Live at Analog” series debuting in early 2024.
Captivating audiences with what Billboard praises as “one of the most distinctive voices of country’s modern era” Rucker describes the album six years in the making as his favorite he’s ever released, as Garden & Gun declares, “Carolyn’s Boy contains some of the most emotional, vulnerable music of Rucker’s career” with MusicRow adding that it offers “a beautiful blend of feel-good, fun tunes and deeper, moving numbers.”
From recent No. 1 hit “Beers And Sunshine,” his 10th to top the Country charts and what he describes as a perfect summary of Carolyn’s joyful personality, to current single “Fires Don’t Start Themselves,” lauded by Billboard for “the impressive vocal control and power in his lower register,” and his latest release, “Southern Comfort,” described by Garden & Gun as “evok[ing] a wistful nostalgia that has become one of Rucker’s calling cards,” the project features 14 tracks, 11 of which boast Rucker as a cowriter.
Some of the notable cowriters joining him on the project include global superstar Ed Sheeran for the reflective “Sara,” penned during a trip to London and celebrated by People as “a mid-tempo rumination on the hopes of seeking friendship and comfort in a long-lost connection;” reigning ACM Artist/Songwriter of the Year HARDY for the longing “3am in Carolina;” and longtime friend and Lady A vocalist Charles Kelley for the despairing “7 days.”
In addition, the album sees Rucker join forces with Chapel Hart for the collaborative “Ol’ Church Hymn” while also offering his take on Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” from blockbuster film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, with MusicRow summarizing his rendition as “beautifully produced, spiritually uplifting and soul stirring. It builds to anthem-level intensity before receding into an intimate prayer. Essential.”
The album offers vulnerably insightful songs such as “Sure Would Have Loved Her,” “Stargazing” and “Never Been Over,” lauded by Garden & Gun in yesterday’s exclusive premiere as “[one] of the album’s highlights,” while also offering uplifting reminders to a divided world on tracks such as “In This Together,” “Same Beer Different Problem” and “Have A Good Time.”
In all, the album demonstrates what the Tennessean praises as Rucker’s “Southernness and soulfulness [which] occupy a uniquely American creative identity. His material caresses, not straddles, the intersections of pop’s unique variants.”
Rucker will also celebrate the release of his new album during the second year of his personally curated Riverfront Revival Music Festival this weekend in his hometown of Charleston, S.C. In addition to Rucker himself, fans will be treated to performances by Turnpike Troubadours, Lainey Wilson, Band of Horses and more. View the full lineup and daily schedule HERE.
Having shared the new music with fans across the country all summer on his Starting Fires Tour, Rucker is also gearing up to take his wide-ranging catalog of hits across the pond with a recently announced run of European tour dates in early 2024.
For more information and to purchase tickets to all upcoming shows, visit DariusRucker.com and follow on social media @DariusRucker.
Carolyn’s Boy Track List:
Lyrics & label copy available HERE (songwriters in parentheses)
- Beers And Sunshine (Darius Rucker, JT Harding, Josh Osborne, Ross Copperman)
- In This Together (Darius Rucker, Derek George, Bobby Hamrick, Joy Williams)
- Never Been Over (Darius Rucker, Lee Thomas Miller, John Osborne)
- Fires Don’t Start Themselves (Ben Hayslip, Jacob Rice, Dan Isbell)
- Ol’ Church Hymn feat. Chapel Hart (Darius Rucker, Greylan James, Ben Hayslip, Josh Miller)
- 7 Days (Darius Rucker, Ross Copperman, Ashley Gorley, Charles Kelley)
- Same Beer Different Problem (Darius Rucker, Tofer Brown, Sarah Buxton, Brad Tursi)
- Sara (Darius Rucker, Joel Crouse, Kyle Rife, Ed Sheeran)
- Have A Good Time (Darius Rucker, Monty Criswell, Derek George, Bobby Hamrick)
- Sure Would Have Loved Her (Darius Rucker, Wyatt Durrette, Levi Lowrey)
- Southern Comfort (Chris LaCorte, Matt Rogers, Josh Osborne)
- 3am in Carolina (Darius Rucker, Ross Copperman, Michael Hardy)
- Lift Me Up (Temilade Openiyi, Robyn Fenty, Ryan Coogler, Ludwig Goransson)
- Stargazing (Darius Rucker, Brinley Addington, Jess Cayne, Matt Morrisey)
Darius Rucker (songs chosen for Carolyn’s Boy) OC: …every day. :27
“I think a lot of the songs were chosen because the record was named Carolyn’s Boy. And comfort was something that I really wanted this record to exude. It’s comfort and just being okay with who you are, being okay in your skin and living that way. And so, yeah, it had a lot to do with it, and the main reason was because it was named after my mom, and comfort was something she gave me every day.”
Darius Rucker (hope for fans) OC: …a record. :19
“I hope fans take away the songs. You know, that’s what music is all about for me. It’s about the songs. So, I hope fans listen to Carolyn’s Boy and go, ‘Once again, they’re writing great songs down in Nashville,’ and I get to cut some of them. That’s what I want to do every time I make a record.”