Darius Rucker has put his solo career on the sideline and will return with a new Hootie and the Blowfish album after the band's nearly five-year hiatus from the studio. "Hootie and the Blowfish" (Atlantic) is set for a March 4 release. The first single, "Innocence," will be released to U.S. radio outlets Feb. 10.
The last Hootie album, 1998's "Musical Chairs," debuted at No. 4 on The Billboard 200 and sold 810,000 copies in the United States. A compilation album, "Scattered, Smothered and Covered," came out in 2000.
"I really worried, after being in total control, about going back to a four-man democracy, but as soon as we got back together, it was easy," Rucker told Billboard magazine.
"Cracked Rear View," the band's 1994 debut, sold over 10 million copies to make Hootie and the Blowfish one of the most successful rock groups of the 1990s.
SNOOP DOGG ON THE PROWL
Snoop Dogg will be co-hosting the first week of "The Jimmy Kimmel Show," the talk show that debuted on ABC immediately following the Super Bowl. The legendary rapper will wrap up his "Jimmy Kimmel" co-hosting duties on Jan. 31 with a performance of his new single "Beautiful."
"Beautiful," the second single from Snoop Dogg's "Paid Tha Cost To Be Da Bo$$," already has been added to the playlist at Los Angeles' hip-hop radio station, Power 106, KPWR. The song goes for radio ads Tuesday. The video for "Beautiful," which premiers the week of Feb. 10, was shot in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and directed by Chris Robinson (Jay-Z, Brandy and Nas, among others). Snoop Dogg is joined in the video by a number of beautiful Brazilian women and Pharrell Williams, one-half of The Neptunes and producer of "Beautiful."
BOSS TO PLAY BENEFIT
Bruce Springsteen has agreed to play a benefit concert at Somerville Theater in Somerville, Mass., on Feb. 20. The concert will benefit DoubleTake Magazine, a quarterly publication based in New York that has a local office in the same building as the Davis Square theater in Somerville. Springsteen and his wife, Patti Scialfa, are committed to the event, but will perform without the rest of the E Street Band. DoubleTake Magazine's Web site says the publication "has temporarily suspended publication pending further funding," but adds, "We hope to be on newsstands again soon."
ROCKING HORSE WINNER AT SXSW
Florida indie pop rock outfit The Rocking Horse Winner has announced plans to tour throughout February and March. A tour with The Remedy Session begins Feb. 2 and will be followed by additional dates with Coheed & Cambria, Onelinedrawing and Hopesfall beginning Feb. 18.
On March 15, The Rocking Horse Winner will join This Day Forward, Armor For Sleep, Against All Authority, Avenged Sevenfold and Stairwell at the Equal Vision/Hopeless Records showcase during the annual SXSW convention in Austin, Texas. "Horizon," (Equal Vision), was the band's second collaboration with producer James Paul Wisner (Dashboard Confessional, Further Seems Forever, As Friends Rust, Stairwell.)
The band consists of Jolie Lindholm (vocals), Henry Olmino (guitars, piano, backing vocals), Jeronimo Gomez (bass), Matt Crum (drums/percussion, piano).
ARTDOCS RAISE $23,000
More than 400 people attended the 4th annual ARTDOCS Benefit Auction and Concert in New Orleans last week. More than $23,000 was raised at the event for artists who do not have health insurance. The festive and frenzied crowd enjoyed an exciting evening of art, music and food with the highlight being a live art auction with more than 70 pieces of artwork put under the gavel. Highlights included an Amy Weiskopf painting selling for $2,200, a George Dureau charcoal going for more than $1,000 and a Herman Leonard photograph topping $1,000.