TAMPA — Hootie & The Blowfish, on the road for the Group Therapy Tour, will perform Sunday, June 9, 7:30 p.m., at Mid Florida Credit Union Amphitheatre, at the Florida State Fairgrounds, 4802 U.S. 301 N., Tampa.
For information and tickets, call 813-740-2446 or visit www.livenation.com.
The band formed by Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker and Jim “Soni” Sonefeld during their time as students at the University of South Carolina will visit 44 cities on the tour produced by Live Nation, kicking off Thursday, May 30 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
“Once the four of us met and started playing shows, we toured for years before signing a record deal,” said Rucker who, in the 10+ year break since their last formal tour and nearly 15 years since their last studio album as a band, has charted nine No. 1 singles on country radio.
In addition to hitting the road on the Group Therapy Tour in 2019, the band also will release a forthcoming sixth studio album under new label home Universal Music Group Nashville as their debut “Cracked Rear View” celebrates its 25th anniversary.
A month ahead of the highly-anticipated Group Therapy Tour launch, Hootie & the Blowfish announced seven dates throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland to follow the North American shows.
“I had the incredible opportunity to play the Royal Albert Hall in London last year, which was a bucket list night for me,” said Rucker. “The fans there and everywhere else we played in Europe were so special. In talking with all of the guys about how special this year’s tour is going to be, we knew it wouldn’t be complete without a trip back across the pond to see our amazing fans there.”
With the rich, bluesy vocals of Darius Rucker and gleeful harmonies of guitarist Mark Bryan, bassist Dean Felber and drummer Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, Hootie & the Blowfish have sold over 25 million records worldwide to date after their infectious melodies hit the airwaves in 1994 with hits such as “Hold My Hand,” “Let Her Cry” and “Only Wanna Be With You.”
The quartet met at the University of South Carolina where endless gigs at frat houses and local bars built a major local buzz. Their blend of pop, folk, blues, soul and rock made them hard to pigeonhole, but easily accessible to anyone who loved good music.
Atlantic Records, impressed by their regional draw, signed them and released “Cracked Rear View” in 1994. The album had been out for six months before the band played on the “Late Show with David Letterman” which sent sales skyrocketing, eventually landing at No. 1 on the Billboard chart the following spring. “Cracked Rear View” and the band went on to win two Grammy Awards, an MTV Video Music Award, a Billboard Music Award, and multiple People’s Choice Awards. “Cracked Rear View” went on to earn the band Billboard’s Band of the Year Award in 1996 and the RIAA’s Diamond Award for sales in excess of 10 million units. “Cracked Rear View” remains the fifth most certified studio album in music business history.
The band remained a top draw nationwide and released five more albums for Atlantic: “Fairweather Johnson,” “Musical Chairs,” “Scattered, Smothered & Covered,” “Hootie & The Blowfish” and “The Best of Hootie & The Blowfish,” as well as “Looking for Lucky” on their own Sneaky Long Records and “LIVE in Charleston, The Homegrown Concert Event” DVD and CD. The band took a break from full-time touring in 2007, reuniting annually for a variety of philanthropic events while also pursuing solo projects.