Friday, January 23, 2009
Darius Rucker at the Frank Erwin Center
I am trying to decide which melted substance is most similar to Darius Rucker's voice. Butter is too thin (although properly yummy) and it's not deep and dark enough. Something like warmed up Hershey's syrup would come close--but not close enough. Really, don't settle for Hershey's. Make your own sauce--a dark chocolate sauce that isn't too sweet, whose flavors have taken awhile to meld together, one that is smooth and makes your taste buds want to keep hitting the "rewind" button so they can feel it all over again. That is how your ears and heart will feel while they listen to Darius Rucker sing in person.
I will write about Brad Paisley later. Today's post is all about Darius.
First of all, thank God Rucker is now making country music. As a Texan, a singer/songwriter, and a fan, I love country music. Lots of kinds of music are great, but country is where the best and most real songs are. I'm grateful that Rucker is making music at all, because it's been way too long since I've heard from him. And finally, thank God that Rucker gets to have a chance to get out from under being called "Hootie."
I was still roaming the massive Frank Erwin Center during the first song, so I missed a bit. I think he played about a 25-minute set. He has the vibe of being simply a great and very experienced entertainer, grabbing each song and jumping inside of it, sometimes giving a brief introduction that helps the audience connect with it, always using his body, face, and gestures to get his point across. I got to witness this huge presence on stage, and I wondered about what exactly that mystery element is, why he's so easy and fun to watch. I especially wondered about this during Dierks Bentley's set afterward--I liked it, and Bentley certainly works his tail off, but he didn't fascinate me the way Rucker does. And then, oh then, there is that voice--oozy, flowy, like melted chocolate. Even on the songs I hadn't heard before, I could hear every note, every word, from up in my nosebleed section seat. I thought about something my voice teacher, Liz Cass, says about how good technique enables a singer to convey much deeper levels of emotion.
I loved hearing Rucker's hit, "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," as well as "It Won't Be Like This for Long," and his rousing cover of Hank Jr.'s "Family Tradition." But the chocolate ran the thickest during his country tinged acoustic rendition of "Let Her Cry," his hit from the old days. Hearing it again made me appreciate what a great song it was and is.
So Darius, since I know you're a devoted reader of my blog, here's my recap of your show:
1. I'm happy I had the chance to hear you sing in person.
2. You inspire me to keep working on my singing.
3. I wish your set had been longer.
4. You'll be getting some iTunes royalties from me and my iPod.
5. I am really looking forward to hearing more.