It’s not the 1990s, but it is time to bust out your cargo shorts, because Hootie and the Blowfish have reunited.
The band, which first hit it big almost 25 years ago with “Cracked Rear View," announced Monday they will release a new album and go on tour next year.
“We’re writing songs in the studio, and we’re making a new album,” lead singer Darius Rucker said on the “Today” show Monday. "For us, making a record is fun, but we’re not doing it for us. We’re doing it for those people who used to plan their vacations around a Hootie and the Blowfish tour.”
Yes, people used to do that! Never mind the jokes about the band name and their aggressively mainstream sound, because it’s hard to understate how much of a musical phenomenon the group was at its peak, with their signature catchy melodies and joyful harmonies.
“Cracked Rear View” remains one of the highest-selling albums of all time, according to the Recording Industry Association of America, as it went platinum 21 times and spent eight weeks on top of the Billboard 200 chart. The band won two Grammys, including best new artist and best group pop performance for “Let Her Cry.”
Their follow-up," Fairweather Johnson," also hit No. 1, and they’ve cut three more albums since, but they’ve never repeated the success of their major label debut.
The band officially went dormant in 2008. “We felt like going away for a while, getting back to our families and a little bit more of a sedentary lifestyle might be a good experiment," band member Jim Sonefeld told the Associated Press. “We didn’t say we were going away for six months or six years. We just said, ‘Let’s go dormant.’”
At the same time, Rucker — who had tried his hand at R&B in the early 2000s — made the transition to country, pursuing a successful solo career.
Rucker had a string of hits, and the former rock singer quickly gained acceptance within the country music industry.
He also made history in a genre where few modern black artists had hit it big. He won the Country Music Association’s best new artist award in 2009. (It was only the second time the association had ever given an individual award to a black performer.)
Five country albums later, though, and Rucker is ready to return to Hootie and the Blowfish. “I am looking forward to rocking again,” he told the AP.
The Group Therapy Tour, which includes the Barenaked Ladies, will start May 30 in Virginia Beach and continue to more than 40 cities, including Madison Square Garden in New York City. Pre-sale tickets will be available starting Thursday.
Reunion tours for 90s groups will be a big thing in 2019. The Backstreet Boys will kick off a world arena tour in May, playing 70 dates. And the Spice Girls (minus Victoria Beckham), will go on tour in June.