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Interview: Darius Rucker Talks New Album ‘Homegrown Honey,’ Upcoming Christmas Record

By Annie Reuter

Update (9/16, 5:08 p.m. ET):
Darius Rucker’s Christmas record will be titled Home For The Holidays and will be released on Oct. 27. The album includes a duet with Sheryl Crow on “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Complete track list below.

Darius Rucker may still be putting the final touches on his fourth country solo album, but that doesn’t mean he can’t give us some clues on what to expect. While in New York earlier this month, Rucker sat down with Radio.com to share some stories behind the songs on the release and fill us in on his forthcoming Christmas album, due out this October.

“Homegrown Honey” is the lead single and title of his fourth solo album, which Rucker opened up about writing with Lady Antebellum‘s Charles Kelley.

“I was playing golf with Charles Kelley one day,” he told Radio.com. “Charles is probably my best friend in the business, we get along really well. He said, ‘Man, we’ve been in Nashville seven years and have never written a song.’ I hadn’t really thought about it, but he was right. We had never written a song together. When I got to the session he had this great idea he had started with the opening line, ‘Sitting in a bar in New York City everyone here looking New York pretty.'”

Related: Darius Rucker Readies Next Album, ‘Homegrown Honey’

Rucker explained that Kelley had the idea to write about a girl who lives in New York and is from the South and is different from everybody else. Nathan Chapman also had a hand in writing the track and is someone Rucker credits as “a genius with melodies.”

“[When] we finished it, we were sitting around and I said, ‘This is my single.’ There was no doubt in my mind that that was my first single.” Listen to “Homegrown Honey” below.

The song is a departure from Rucker’s previous singles, as it’s a party song. As a result, Rucker said that the song brings out a cool, fun side for him. “This song was so much fun. It’s a guy I’m not anymore, but we can sing about it anyway.”

While Rucker said he doesn’t think the album will be a party record, per se, there will definitely be some exuberance speckled throughout.

“We wanted to have a little more fun with this record,” he said before talking about “Southern Style,” a song he wrote with Rivers Rutherford. “The opening line is ‘Big blond hair too much makeup, high heel boots that lace-up, got two first names that came from her grandmas on both sides.’ It’s one of those country songs that I love.”

Another song, “I Sang” he also wrote with Rutherford and Tim James and is a song about being a singer. Admitting that he was never the best player on the team, it’s about realizing he’ll never play in the NFL, so he decided to sing instead. Meanwhile, “Down Here” was written with longtime producer Frank Rogers and has the sentiment, “I’m sure heaven’s nice but tonight it ain’t too bad down here.”

While Rucker says Homegrown Honey will be released sometime next year, fans won’t have to wait too long to hear new music as he’ll be releasing a Christmas album this October.

“We wanted to make a Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis record,” he explained. “We wanted to make a really cool, traditional kind of record.”

Rucker wrote a few songs for the album, including “Candy Cane Christmas” and “What God Wants For Christmas,” which will be the album’s single. Other songs include “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch,” which features his kids. While not much is known about the release, from Rucker’s Twitter we can’t help but wonder if Sheryl Crow will also appear on the release.

 

Regardless, for both releases Rucker promises quality music. “If you don’t want to sing a song for the rest of your life, don’t put it on your record because you never know what’s going to be a hit.”

Home For The Holidays Track Listing:

01. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
02. White Christmas
03. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow
04. Winter Wonderland
05. Please Come Home For Christmas
06. What God Wants For Christmas written by Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers and Monty Criswell
07. Baby, It’s Cold Outside (featuring Sheryl Crow)
08. O Come, All Ye Faithful
09. You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch
10. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
11. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
12. Candy Cane Christmas written by Darius Rucker, Frank Rogers and Steve Leslie

 

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