Darius Rucker Compares Luke Bryan & Eric Church to Willie & Waylon

March 5, 2014 - By Trigger  //  News  //  96 Comments

Darius Rucker – Capitol Nashville

Former Hootie & The Blowfish frontman turned country artist Darius Rucker was on sports personality Dan Patrick’s radio show Tuesday (3-4), and had some interesting things to say about who the new torch bearers are for country music’s Outlaw legacy. Outlaw artists like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, David Allan Coe, and Johnny Paycheck shook up the country music world in the mid 70’s by re-instituting a harder country sound and taking back control of their music, and now according to Darius Rucker and Dan Patrick, the new Willie and Waylon is Luke Bryan and Eric Church.

The Darius Rucker interview starts out with Dan Patrick giving some playful ribs to Rucker about his lack of country music bad boy credentials. “I mentioned at the end of last hour that, you know, Luke Bryan’s the new bad boy, and Eric Church is the new bad boy in country,” said Patrick. “Darius Rucker can’t be a bad boy ’cause he was the lead singer of Hootie & The Blowfish. Right? No matter what …. How can you be a bad boy? You know you can’t be Tim [McGraw], you can’t be Hank Williams. You know, you were Hootie & The Blowfish.”

“That’s funny but true,” Rucker responds, laughing. “You’re absolutely right. I’m always going to be country lite, there’s nothing I can do about that … Brad [Paisley]’s not a bad boy. Rascal Flatts, they’re not bad boys. Not everyone can be a bad boy. You know, that’s cool.”

Then Dan Patrick asks, “But there’s so much money in country now that can you be a bad boy and be crazy like Waylon and Willie used to be?”

“Yeah man, we’ve still got those guys,” Rucker says. “You know, Jamey Johnson, he’s a bad boy that’s for sure, and he’s doing well. You know, like you said Luke and Eric, Eric’s probably the closest we got to Waylon & Willie I think.”

This was not the first time Darius Rucker has made interesting statements on the Dan Patrick Show. In November of 2013, Darius said on the show that he thought he deserved a Grammy nomination for his cover of the Old Crow Medicine Show / Bob Dylan song “Wagon Wheel” or quote “country music’s screwed.” Dan Patrick and Darius Rucker are good friends, going back to the time when Darius was winning Grammy Awards with Hootie & The Blowfish.

You can see the entire interview below.

96 Comments to “Darius Rucker Compares Luke Bryan & Eric Church to Willie & Waylon”

  • Not to be a jerk or anything but after reading this article it seems like the title is inaccurate or the quote is. The title says “Darius Rucker Calls Luke Bryan & Eric Church The New Willie & Waylon” and the quote says “Eric’s probably the closest we got to Waylon & Willie I think.” This would seem to indicate he wasn’t equating Luke with Willie or Waylon. And agree or disagree it would make more sense as Church has been associated by many as an outlaw whereas that has never been said about Luke Bryan. Just my two cents.

    • Agreed. He didn’t include Luke, just referenced that DP brought him up earlier. He meant Eric and Eric alone as today’s comparison to the Outlaws of old and it’s a statemt I completely agree with.

      • He wasn’t referencing Luke Bryan from earlier in the conversation, he was AGREEING with Luke Bryan as being a country music “bad boy,” and that his name should be considered in the context of who the next Willie & Waylon are, which was the last thing Dan Patrick said before Darius’s response. I agree that Darius Rucker did not say directly “Luke Bryan is the next Willie (or) Waylon,” but that is why an article isn’t just a title, but the words that proceed it. I did not put quotes around anything in the title, and presented the entire conversation in context in two different formats so people can read or hear it themselves and come to their own conclusions.

        Darius also mentioned Jamey Johnson by the way, so that precludes Darius from meaning ONLY Eric Church.

        • And by the way, I just tweaked the title as best I could to try and make it as non misleading as possible with the amount of characters I’m allotted for any title.

    • I think you’re correct, I wouldn’t take Darius’ quotes that he called Luke and Eric the new Willie and Waylon but he did refer to them as “bad boys.” I thought for a minute on what that term might mean in the realm of country music and I think it would mean an artist who puts his musical integrity and desire to put out what he wants in front of the desires of his record label. Neither Luke or Eric fall in to this category as they are both little more than marketing machines advertised as “Outsiders” or rebels to the big country music establishment when in fact they ARE the current pop country establishment. While they’ll both enjoy huge commercial success, sell a ton of records to adolescent girls, their mothers and the boys who want to get in their pants, and make more money than I’ll ever see in a lifetime, neither one should ever be compared to a couple of legends of country music such as Willie and Waylon. Still a good article Trigger and unfortunate that Darius who claims to be such a fan of country music and its roots cannot recognize what an inaccurate comparison he is making.

      • Just to be clear my statement wasn’t to start a conversation as to who is outlaw and who is not. Simply that the quote and the title of the article were not consistent in my opinion.

        • For what it’s worth, I agree that the title is misleading. Given the context of this article, I’d say Rucker was baited. A more appropriate title would have been…well, maybe the article just shouldn’t exist.

          • And what’s Dan Patrick’s motive for baiting one of his good friends who he’s known for years?

            There’s a lot of assumption going on that this is an attack piece towards Rucker, when nowhere is there evidence of such. I do think that Rucker should have chosen his words more wisely, and I don’t personally believe that Luke Bryan and Eric Church should be compared with Willie and Waylon, just as I believe comparing any artist with any other artists is usually unfair and tends to be rife with misunderstanding.

            But gauging from the amount of emails I received when it happened live, my guess is what Darius said was in need of transcribing in its original context so that instead of people getting angered over what they THOUGHT they heard in real time, people can read read and re-listen to the entire exchange verbatim and decide if it is something to get upset about, or not. Even so, there’s STILL a lot of people who are upset about what he said, which is their right.

      • “Neither Luke or Eric fall in to this category as they are both little more than marketing machines advertised as “Outsiders” or rebels to the big country music establishment when in fact they ARE the current pop country establishment.”

        I don’t think Luke Bryan is marketed as being outside the establishment, or even as a “bad boy” necessarily. I think he is the epitome of an establishment mainstream country performer, making both Dan Patrick’s characterization of him, and Rucker’s agreement with it that much more strange and uninformed.

        • When I said that Luke was marketed as an outsider or rebel to the establishment I was speaking of my perception of how his label presents him. I would first reference a few of his album titles, “I’ll Stay Me”, “Doin’ My Thing”, and “Crash My Party” as my evidence that he is presented as a bad boy who does his own thing and walks to the beat of his own drum, to use a few tired cliches. (which is what most of his music consists of anyway) Just like music, perception of presented material is completely subjective to the person. No matter how he or Eric Church are marketed or advertised by their music labels I think we are in agreement that their music is formulaic of the pop country movement at best and lacking any of the true depth or heart and should not be compared to the music of the legends that Patrick and Rucker mentioned. The two should stick to talking about Rucker’s love of the Dolphins and golf.

        • I can understand the naive and ignorance from a talking head sports radio personality such as Dan Patrick. But someone who is claiming to be a member of the country music institution needs to be aware of the idiocy of this statement.

    • Darius Rucker mentioned Luke’s name, and he was agreeing with Dan Patrick in saying that Luke Bryan and Eric Church were country’s “bad boys” and directly comparing them to Willie and Waylon. Did Darius Rucker directly say “Luke Bryan is the new Willie Nelson” or “Luke Bryan is the new Waylon Jennings?” No. And that’s the reason I transcribed the interview in context, and then included the video that includes the entire conversation so everyone can read and watch and listen for themselves and come to their own conclusions. That’s also the reason that I didn’t include any personal commentary on this story, but basically presented the facts and left it up to the reader to decide how they feel about what they said.

      You have to understand, a title is just that. Having a title that says “Darius Rucker compared Eric Church to the next Willie and Waylon, and also made reference to Luke Bryan in the same context, agreeing with something interviewer Dan Patrick said previously in the conversation” is an extremely wordy title, and wouldn’t fit the character limit of the title bar. A title is a very brief summation. I always encourage everyone to read my articles instead of just the titles and giving their knee jerk reactions.

    • Well, he DID include Luke Bryan, but I think it was just to be polite after Patrick had already made the ridiculous statement. However, I would say that Luke is definitely a modern “country” bad boy, but only because his demographic most obviously includes jailbait. You don’t see JJ or EC singing to a 12-16 year old, primarily female audience, do you? What Luke Bryan is doing right now is absolutely disgusting.

      The funny thing about real “Outlaws” and “Tough guys” is that you just know that they’re outlaws and tough guys. They don’t have to tell you. I think Eric Church’s music speaks for itself, from an outlaw perspective. If he’d just get his merch under control, drop the outlaw and pot leaf shirts, I think the outlaw term could be more freely accepted when it’s applied to him. He definitely took a ridiculous chance on his latest album. The only surefire #1 single is Talladega, and I’m hesitant to believe that the modern country market will take it to #1 when songs like “Chillin’ It” and “That’s My Kind of Night” go #1. The country market is now the pop market. It is what it is. From a “his music versus their music” perspective, Eric Church is far and beyond everybody else, and it isn’t close. He needs to let it speak for itself.

      • How come you always shut down replies to my comment threads?

        • @Matt, if you’re talking to me, it’s nothing that I’m cognizant of. There’s certainly no intention involved. I actually don’t really pay attention to the names listed all that often. Trig’s got his avatar, so that’s always obvious, but to be honest when we all have nothing for an avatar I don’t really retain any names. It’s nothing I’m intentionally doing to you, anyway.

        • Matt,

          Nobody is shutting down comment threads. Each original comment has five tiers of responses before the system automatically doesn’t allow you to respond anymore. It is meant to keep the comment section somewhat clean so people can follow what’s going on. I have no control over it, nor do I have any desire to suppress your opinions or anyone elses. If you get caught at the end of a thread 1) Start a new thread at the bottom 2) Click “reply” to the last on the tier and leave it there.

      • @ BwareDWare94
        “I think Eric Church’s music speaks for itself, from an outlaw perspective.”

        I find this comment interesting. Are you suggesting that the songs are what makes someone a country outlaw? That term can have different meanings, but lets take the term “country music outlaw” from it’s roots. I.E. Waylon, Willie, Bobby Bare, Tompall, etc…
        They didn’t get that term from the lyrics of songs. They got the term because of how they were making/producing/performing music.

        Eric Church makes/produces/performs music just like Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean or Blake Shelton. None of them are doing anything all that creative or ground breaking or “outlaw” from the Nashville system. Sure, some different sounds, but nothing outlaw from what the label wants. You think Church put some record executive in his place and did his current album from standing strong??? Not even close.

        So sure, Church wears some sunglasses and sings some lyrics about being an outsider, and in some circles that makes him outlaw, but not in the country music root of the term.

        Now some may know I’m a big Jamey Johnson promoter. And some my inaccurately say Johnson makes music for a big label too. But he has never called himself an outlaw, AND he has made/produces/performs music in line with the root definition of country music outlaw.
        * Currently, in a dispute with his label, he isn’t cutting his own new music or just cutting albums to finish out a contract, he is simply not making music for the label cause they aren’t holding up their end of the deal. Instead, he is performing what he wants at shows, and producing other albums of true country variety. That stance is real outlaw, IMHO, and light years away from what Church and anyone else is doing in the Nashville mainstream scene.

        • I’m a huge Jamey Johnson promoter as well, but he’s not releasing new music and has all but vanished from relevance. I loved The Guitar Song. It wasn’t better than That Lonesome Song, but it was so damn unique. The tribute to Hank Cochran was a beautiful gesture, if not a great album. It wasn’t his music, and that’s what Johnson thrives on–his own words. Until Jamey’s releasing new music again, I’m not going to sit here and act like we’ve got a foundation to stand on when supporting him. He can’t just disappear like this.

          Let me take a step back on my Eric Church comments. Not so much with the original meaning of “country outlaw” but from the perspective that his music is just better than that of his peers. It’s not even close. Don’t throw Luke Bryan, Aldean, and Shelton in there. Any notions of making music as shitty as what they’re doing right now is killed in the braincells Eric destroys with his alcoholism. Even “The Outsiders” is an album that goes far and beyond what the rest of mainstream “country” is doing right now. From that perspective–the simple fact that he’s better than everybody else who’s a household name–I’d say he’s an outlaw, in that sense. Not an outlaw comparable to the Willies and Waylons of the world, but an outlaw in the sense that people can listen to him and say “Goddamn. That’s a lot better than the rest of the songs I’ve just heard.”

          It’s just the truth, man. While he’s mainstream, his peers pale in comparison to him. Is he great? In some contexts, yes, but he’s certainly not as great as all of his humongous fanboys–the folks who jumped on the wagon when Chief was released–think he is.

          For the record, I bit the bullet and took a chance on David Nail’s “I’m a Fire” today. While “Whatever She’s Got” is unbelievably catchy, it was scary to think that he might have gone full on pop-country. That’s not the case. It’s a great album. If you want a fix of mainstream country that’ll give you some hope, David Nail just might be the answer. What an album.

        • I’m a fan of both Jamey and Eric, but I think a lot of people have a different idea of what an “outlaw” is….it’s not wallet chains and doing cocaine, it’s creating music that they want despite what the industry has to say about it. I don’t even like to use the term because people get all worked up about it when really I couldn’t care less about anything other than the music that person is making. I like Eric Church’s music and my judgement stops there. I like Jamey for his music and that’s all (aside from his “Cold Beer” collab with Colt Ford”

    • As far as I know, the only people associating Eric Church as an outlaw are Eric himself and those who take his word for it.

  • What a joke. The guy just needs to keep his mouth shut

  • What’s with Dan Patrick thinking that Luke Bryan is a bad boy? I could see how a casual observer might think Eric Church is a bad boy. But Luke Bryan? Jeez.

  • Darius Rucker knows who Jamey Johnson is?

    • considering that they’re both commercial music sell outs signed to labels in the Universal Group, i wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t worked a bake sale table together at the private school they’re children just happen to attend together.

      • Commercial music sellout? Granted, I don’t listen to country radio very often but I’ve only ever heard one Jamey Johnson song on mainstream country radio and that was “In Color” which sounds a hell of a lot more like Hank Williams than it does Jason Aldean.

        …. “wouldn’t be surprised if they haven’t worked a bake sale table together” …. Public and private school systems are failing.

  • Darius Rucker wouldn’t know a bad boy or country music if it bit him in the ass.

    • I agree. I don’t think he would know one, nor do I think he gives a rat’s ass who is an outlaw and who is not. I’ve been listening to Waylan and Willie most of my life. I had not idea they were outlaws until I came to this sight. True, 90% of pop country music sucks, but about 60% of the music from the underground or so called “outlaws” also sucks. Who the hell care about outlaws, I just want good music. And no, I am not a Darius Rocker fan, but I see nothing in this interview that merits a Darius Rocker bashing.

      • How could a fan of Waylon and Willie not know they were outlaws. They were outlaws because the stood up to Nashvile. and fought to do their music their way and not kiss Nashville’s corporate ass. There is better music in the underground I wouldn’t say 60% sucks. Listen to Hank 3’s country stuff. Listen to Billy Don Burns. Jason Isbell to name a few.

        • Well, I think perhaps this out law bit has gotten a bit out of hand.

          • It’s out of hand when the artist’s marketing and pr people call them outlaws. Neither Waylon or Willie had much love for Nashvile. As a fan of Waylon you know how much he hated the CMA’s etc.

        • You know, Hillbilly Central was in Nashville too. So is Jason Isbell for that matter.

      • I just want to point out, I did not “bash” Darius Rucker in this article, I simply reported what he said. When this interview was broadcast on Dan Patrick’s show yesterday, my inbox filled up with people outraged. Many times I give my opinion on these types of things when they transpire. This one, I decided to refrain, and simply report what had happened, that way if people wanted to use it as a forum to vent, they could, or if people wanted to defend him, they could do that as well. There was some concern about the title, and so I changed it. There was also other interesting information from the interview that I thought was informative to bring to my readers: Darius mentioning Jamey Johnson, and Darius calling himself “country lite.” This seemed to be a hot button issue that many of my readers wanted me to address, so I did.

        • I heard the bit and my only reaction was an eyeroll in Dan Patrick’s direction, because it seemed as if his country music knowledge comes from the iTunes top 20 singles chart. I thought Rucker was just going along and I kind of gave him points for basically agreeing with us in that he’s “country lite.”

          I’m not sure if this will make people angrier or happier with him, but he stopped in my area earlier this week and the local paper’s concert review said he covered “Eastbound and Down” and “Family Tradition.”

          • The fact that he covered a couple of classic songs really means nothing; Unless and until I hear them I’ll have to assume that they were no better than his cover of “Wagon Wheel.”

  • He’s just parroting what his Music Row cronies are hyping, even if what they are hyping is complete and utter fabricated bullshit that preys on the brainwashed minds of a listening audience that isn’t willing to do a little homework in country music history. He’s a part of the machine, and the problem.

  • This makes me absolutely sick, it’s amazing that Mr Rucker believes in his own mind that he is a Country music Super Legend when the truth is he is the same terrible pop singer with a different band. What a douche bag.

    • “This makes me absolutely sick, it’s amazing that Mr Rucker believes in his own mind that he is a Country music Super Legend when the truth is he is the same terrible pop singer with a different band. What a douche bag.”

      Gtrman86, I suggest that you read the article. Your comment suggest that perhaps you did not.

      I am not a fan of Darius Rucker’s country music, although I loved him when he was with Hootie and the Blowfish. I suppose his career took a bad turn and he came to country to make a living. Is it Darius’s fault that just about anybody can sing country music these days. Is it his fault that he looks at pop country music as it is today, and say to himself, “heck, I can do that.” There is not one person on this site that has not worked on a job simply for the money, simply because it is something, he or she can do. These artist who are crossing over to country music because they are finding it easier/easy to make a living here are not to be blamed. It the industry who have lowered the standard, they are the ones we should blame. And by the way, Darius Rucker is known for being a nice guy. He is no douche. That is not a word to call someone, if there is not a flicker of truth in it.

      • It’s artists like this that are destroying Country music, he is NOT a Country artist but since the big wigs will let any washed up hack contribute to the demise of Country music he somehow has a career.


        • I really don’t think Darius Rucker is that big a part of the problem.

          • You better believe he is a part of the problem, there is not 1 aspect of this clown that is Country, he simply jumped on the bandwagon of failing artists from other genres that have “re-invented” themselves as Country even though they are not. The current artists charting in Country music are all more or less soft rock pop, I’m sorry to offend anybody that may listen to this crap but it’s unfortunate that you are shallow enough to listen to this dribble, afraid that one of your friends may hear you listening to something other than the flavour of the week beer truck girl nonsense.

        • I would argue that Darius Rucker is actually one of the best mainstream male country artists right now. That is simply by virtue of him not participating in the bro country deluge.

          • Still doesn’t really say much, as far as mainstream Country goes there is NO Country music currently being played anyways.

        • How could you even make a statement like this. Darius was no where near country music when this problem begin. I got turned off from country music when Shania Twain became a big country star. There was noting country about her or Faith Hil! To my knowledge Darius was still making good music with Hootie and the Blowfish. The money behind country turned country into pop not washed out pop singers. Darius really did not have to make much of a transition to sing country. All he had to do was get banjo. I would imagine that would be hard to resist to someone who is struggling to pay his bills. Again, I will say it, there is absolutely no one on this site that has not done work they didn’t necessarily want to do for the money. We’ve all worked on jobs or projects simply for the paychecks. This would include you. It is not Darius’ fault that country has turned into what he was already doing for years. This problem is bigger than Darius. He’s just a pawn on a chess board.

        • I didn’t say he wasn’t a part of the proble; I just meant that he wasn’t such a big part of a problem that his staying or going will be the deciding factor as to whether or not country music is screwed as you stated in all caps.

  • Man, what a bunch of hatred for Darius Rucker. I honestly think that his comments come off as harmless in my opinion.

  • I’ve got to stop coming here. This site is bad for my blood pressure. And, I’m starting to use the phrase “douche bag” way too often.

  • Only Darius knows what he meant, and Trigger is quoting him. I agree the title is a bit bait and switch, but that is becoming standard here.

    Anyway, this clearly shows how little Patrick knows about country music, an elementary level (probably just read some quick press release before Rucker came on). I.E. threw some popular names out, seen some photos and heard some stories about Waylon/Wille. But knows nothing beyond that. I.E. Waylon did some crazy stuff= bad boy. Luke Bryan drove his truck (allegedly) into a lake. = crazy stuff= bad boy. That is the link.

    Notice,Patrick had no reaction or clue who Jamey Johnson is and he would probably wet himself if he crossed his path.

    I give kudos to Rucker for pulling Johnson’s name out, since that is a legit name. I think he was kind of following Patrick’s lead in agreeing with the names he tossed out. If Rucker said Aldean or Blake Shelton, then he would be a total dumbass.

    *** Rucker does hangout with a lot more legit country artists than some may think.

    • “…and Trigger is quoting him. I agree the title is a bit bait and switch, but that is becoming standard here.”

      I disagree with this statement. This comment make me think you are not a regular reader of this site. If you’re not a regular reader here, then it is morally irresponsible to make such a statement. That is a shame, because your comment was quite interesting aside from this statement. This statement prevented me from giving you a thumbs up.

  • There will never be another Willie and Waylon period. The Nashville system as it exists today would never turn loose of the reigns like back then. Eric Church while not my thing seems to march to his own drummer despite the consequences. Not going to bash Mr. Rucker here but I suspect he is so happy to have a 2nd career that you will never see him buck the Nashville establishment that pushes him. I just wish he had the proper perspective to realize these kinda of comments are not going to be taken kindly by lots of folks. No matter the context or intent.

    • The Nashville system was significantly tighter in the 60s. RCA did not turn over the reigns to Willie and Waylon voluntarily; they were forced to do so by the law.

      • Eric you are right Willie and Waylon demanded it and got it. However, no matter what happened today I can’t imagine a situation that would lead to a simillar outcome occuring today like back in the Seventies.

        • Ever since Willie and Waylon broke the absolute power of the recording industry, artists have frequently battled the labels in court and won. Tim McGraw and the other artists that have battled Curb Records serve as recent examples of this.

          On the other hand, an artist singing in the style of Willie and Waylon would probably not attain the level of popularity that they did in the 70s, simply because musical tastes have changed dramatically since then.

    • You said it best, there will never be another Waylon and Willie.

      However, if I were to nominate someone I think it would have to come from outside of country. Maybe someone like Jack White.

    • I am in agreement with you, TX Jim!!!!!!!!!!

  • The new Willie and Waylon eh? I don’t think so. Maybe a better comparison would be the new Frick and Frack, or the new Hans and Franz, or the new Curly and Shemp, or the new Ole and Lena, or maybe the new…(lol)

    I don’t give a rat’s ass what Hootie thinks about anything, so all of this passion about something so inconsequential is quite amusing!

    • “….the new Ole and Lena……”

      Luke “Ole” Bryan: “Yah, Eric, you sure do show dem folks what a bad guy you are when you go around sayin’ “Man, I’m such an OUTLAW!!””
      Eric “Lena” Church: “Yah, Luke, and nobody can get the girls drunk in the big truck and commit the date rape like you can!”

      Definitely the new Waylon and Willie.

  • I’d be surprised if any regular reader of this site agreed that either Church or Luke are outlaws. Since they’re large parts of the Nashville machine they couldn’t be more the opposite of outlaws if they tried. They’re not even bad boys. Bryan goes for the good ol’ boy/frat boy vibe, and Church is just a faux hardass who thinks mirrored shades make him tough (I think he’s seen ‘Cool Hand Luke’ one time too many).

    What I’m more interested in knowing is who ARE the real, current heirs to Waylon and Willie, if there are any? And by that I mean artists who were insiders in Nashville but have now gone off and done their own thing out of frustration with Music Row.

    • I wouldn’t even attempt to compare them to Waylon or Willie, but there are quite a few artists who shrugged off the big labels and either went to a small label or formed their own label. Unlike Waylon, I can’t think of any that did this in their prime.

      Marc Chesnutt – returned to a more traditional sound for a small label after trying to do things the mainstream way and failing
      Randy Travis – started out neo-traditional, went for more of a pop sound, then up and went gospel, then came back to neo-traditional
      Dwight Yoakum – has always done his own thing, despite briefly being a mainstream darling

      I’m sure there’s others I’m missing. You could almost throw Toby Keith in there despite all his unfortunate song choices.

      • Totally off topic here, but speaking of Mark Chesnutt have you ever noticed how many artists find sucess sing more traditional music, then release a pop song that becomes a huge hit and they seem to drop off the face of the earth? Mark Chesnutt with “I Don’t Want To Miss a Thing,” LeeAnn Womack with “I Hope You Dance:……I know there are a few others that don’t come to mind right now.

        • I wonder about that myself sometimes. I can only speculate that what seems like a big hit to us fans might not be a windfall to the artist, and perhaps they feel pressure to cash in on the exposure while they have the chance.

          • I certianly get why they might record a pop tune, a career in the entertainment field can be a pretty fickle thing so they feel like they have to cash in while they have the opportunity. And it’s not like it’s usually an over-the-top bad song, just a departure from what ehy’ve done in the past.

            It’s the fact that they seldom have much success after the big pop song that baffles me.

  • Darius Rucker doesn’t try to be anything or run his mouth about being a legitimate “country” artist. Leave him the hell alone. He’s one of the more tolerable radio artists, right now. It’s sad but it’s true. Let him be.

    He needs to revive Hootie and the Blowfish again, though. They were so much better this his solo material. If you don’t think Cracked Rear View is a great album, you aren’t being subjective.

    • I agree that Cracked Rear View is much better than his pop country stuff. But a great album? I bought it and was bored with it after a few listens. Tried numerous times to trade it in. Finally, one user CD store owner said to me: “Every bought it. Everybody wants to get rid of it.”

      I do think Darius is an OK guy, even if his music leaves me very cold. Maybe he needs to stop talking to Dan Patrick on the air.

      • regardless to what he says, I don’t believe country music is in his soul. A record might sound good on first listen, but if the music isn’t in the artist’s heart, eventually that is going to resonate with his listener and we’re going to stop playing the CD. well – at least for those of us who feels deeply. But hey, you don’t need to have a soul to succeed on music row.

  • Are these guys forgetting that Willie is still making music, touring, and getting into trouble with the law? I’d say Willie is still the best ambassador for outlaw country music.

  • Since when are Luke Bryan and Tim McGraw bad boys? Last decade much of McGraw’s image was built around being a loving, sensitive father. But that father crap had to be cut out so he could appeal to the young crowd.

    At least he mentioned Jamey Johnson. Back when “That Lonesome Sound” came out, Rucker called it the best album of the year. I think more than anything, he was politely agreeing with Dan Patrick.

  • Songs like Let Her Cry, Look Away and Drowning from Cracked Rear View prove Rucker is capable of being a good writer. Old Man and Me and I Will Wait from Hootie’s later albums were also pretty good.

    Rucker said he wrote Let Her Cry as a country song. I wish he’d record a country version of it. It would be the best song on country radio for all of the weeks it would spend on the chart.

    • He does a “country” version of it live, you can probly find it on youtube somewhere (although the sound quality won’t b great). It is a great song though I agree

  • What a joke…

  • Oh dang. Sorry man, I was trying to say that to the moderator/Triggerman.

    • I figured, but thought I’d reply just in case. I thought you might have been implying that we’d disagreed, and often. Oh well. Situation resolved!

  • Loving Willie is not a head thing, but a heart thing.
    I love Willie.

  • He needs to go back to LA rock for he knows nothing about outlaw and/or country. Like most so called country nowadays.

  • I wasn’t aware that one could wear glittery jeans and still be a “bad boy”.

    • ^ Best comment right there. :)

    • One can’t! But nowadays, it seems that the bar for what qualifies as a “bad boy” has been set very low indeed.

      Luke Bryan and Eric Church wouldn’t have been worthy to have held Waylon and Willie’s beers while they took a leak back in the day.

      • Roger that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Reminds me of the best line ever on Nashville Star. In the first season, when they showed some of the local elimination, this guy had a real funky pair of designer jeans on and Charlie Robeson told him he really liked his jeans. The guy was all smiles until Charlie followed up with “Tell me, do they sell men’s jeans where you bought those?”

  • While it’s refreshing to see Hootie realize his place in the country music pecking order (“country-lite”, as he calls himself), he’s still obviously towing the company line. Because really, anyone that believes that Luke Bryan and Eric Church are the new “bad boys” of country is clearly trying not to rock the boat.

    Rucker knows that biting the corporate hand that feeds him through a verbal dissing of Bryan and Church would probably be a bad idea for his career. Seems to me he’s just kinda going along with the interviewer, while trying to get some country “street cred” from country fans in the know by dropping Jamey Johnson’s name.

    It also seems that he perhaps missed the 90’s (he was busy clogging up pop radio with The Blowfish and their Album Du Jour) when another duo, with more talent, pedigree, and respect for the genre emerged: Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart.

    Rucker was smart enough to switch genres when he saw the Hootie ship sinking, but when it comes to waxing poetic about anything Country, he’s out of his element, and would do better just to not say anything. Like right now.

    • Waylon still has too many fans (millions) in their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and on and on. He also still has too much music going for anyone to try and compare others with him. He died too young, which is why NO one can begin to compare him with ANYONE !!! What a grand insult!! Just an absolute insult!! This borders on sinfulness!!! Mr. Rucker should just not comment on anything where he has to place Waylon and Willie across lips.

  • Speaking of towing the company line and falling into the hype of Music Row, on ‘Nashville’ last night, how many times did Big Machine Records get named dropped? Every time I heard “Big Machine” my stomach turned.

    • I go back and forth with that show. Sure, they were name-dropping Big Machine, but the main plot of the episode was a big artist searching for a label that would give her creative freedom. The issues we talk about every day here come up regularly on that show, and are being served to the masses.

      • Yeah that’s a good point. Sometimes I’m ashamed to admit I watch that show but I can’t stop. My wife makes fun of me for watching that show and Dallas (she calls them my Soap Opera’s).

        • I watch Dallas as well, but mostly for the women.

  • Man ,Trigger I don’t know how you write this column and put up with some of the dumbasses who post on here, who can’t discern a column title vs an article and cry misleading/bait and switch…if u can’t read the transcript provided and come to the conclusion he’s the one who brought up the W&W comparison and tied it to Lukeric, then you need to go back take a night course on READING COMPREHENSION……

  • I don’t mind what he said. As far as mainstream country goes, yes, Eric probably is the closest thing to Waylon and Willie. He sounds a little like Willie, and has Waylon’s penchant for rock and roll. Of course, he falls short in so many ways but compared to what’s out there he’s probably the closest.

    Luke Bryan doesn’t even belong in the conversation, but think he’s only there because Patrick brought him up. Darius doesn’t seem like the type who’s going to out and bash any of his contemporaries regardless of what his personal opinion might be (of which I won’t speculate).

    I like that he dropped Jamey’s name in there, now if Jamey would release an album…

  • Are you smoking crack??? You are comparing two wonna bees to the outlaws who changed the face of country music that is a insult times a million!!!!!! These so called country singers will never compare to the good ol boys Ever !!!!!…

    • Dustin, you ever heard the saying, the crime does not fit the punishment. In a similar sense, your reaction does not fit Darius’ statement. It is clear that many people commenting here have not read the article, or if they did, they simply skim through it. I don’t understand why someone would comment on something without first obtaining as much information as possible. Let me clarify for those of us who refuse to read such a short little article. Darius did mot initiate a conversation on who was or was not country music bad boy or outlaw. The focus of the conversation, was in actuality, that Darius himself was too nice to be an outlaw or bad boy, a fact in which Darius himself appeared to have agreed. He then subsequently humbly referred to himself as country music lite. He did not bring up or initiate a conversation about outlaws, the interviewer did. He simply agreed with the names the interviewer threw out, almost as if he was goaded into it. If anyone deserve a any kind of outrage directed at them,it is the interviewer.

  • If you want real country you should listen to some john d hale or some jason boland. Darius Rucker should have stayed singing shitty rock and left the country to the people who are really country. P.s. You ruined wagon wheel you douche.

  • The closest thing to Willie and Waylon is Jason Eady and Sturgill fucking Simpson.

  • B. S., and I don’t mean blake! There’s way too many people out there that abuse the terminology, OUTLAW & BAD BOYS these days when they really don’t have a clue as to what either term implies!!
    Using F-bombs has nothing to do with it but somehow that’s what all the new singers think it means! NOT!
    Same with the term ARTIST. These guys are not artist, they are stage runners, swinging on ropes, busting guitars, spending a hundred grand on technology to hold the crowd.
    ARTIST, walk onto a stage, stand at the mincrophone with a 4 or 5 piece band backing them and literally paint you a fine piece of artistry with TALENT. Word weavers who CREATE!
    They don’t require a megamillion dollar light show to amaze you. That is not an ARTIST!
    What you have today is something akin to punk (rock- country or ????, but anyone who would attempt to relate modern acts to the true ARTIST are just ignorant of the facts and simply need to go back, watch Waylon, Willie, Cash, Jones, Haggard and the rest and then see if there is even anything modern that could come close to a comparison! Surely if anyone thinks this bunch today can even be spoken of in the same sentence as an Artist, must surely be ignorant of the talent facts, between then and now.

    • we saw EC in Kansas City open for George Strait last month….we were reserved at first but we were blown away. He went up there with just his guitar and played his set….even George was amazed that he could do that….Luke can’t do that but EC did and that made me a huge fan!!!

  • There’s no such thing as “new” Willie & Waylon. You can’t re-make Willie & Waylon. Luke and Eric are about far from outlaw country as it gets. That’s like saying Ganstagrass is the new Bluegrass sound. Luke and Eric aren’t even country…it’s all crossover pop, and it is its own genre of music. I’d appreciate it if they’d just keep “country” out of it. I’ve seen Willie and Waylon, Hank, David Alan Coe in concert…and Luke or Eric neither one is remotely close to an outlaw act.

  • Luke Bryan is the worst….. now EC he’s an artist… I would like to know how many songs Waylon actually wrote, I have came across 15…. if you’re just comparing the two guys based on talent alone I would think EC would easily compete with Waylon, his name is on every track that he’s recorded. As far as the “outlaw” image, that started cause Waylon didn’t agree with all of the restrictions there were on artist’s in Nashville…. but if your referring to trouble with the law then yes Waylon won that battle, if its based on musical talent and not doing what Nashville says then both these guys did or are doing it…Luke Bryan can go to hiphop for all I care…

  • Ya know it’s pretty much laughable they compare those two guys to anything of the likes of outlaw or even the word ‘country’. Eric Church is a far cry from country and like Bryan is cool pop music, yay!

    If anyone is ‘outlaw’ it’s guys like Ryan Bingham who not only paid their dues but write all their own material. Granted, Bingham has gone Hollywood but that man has lived one hell of a crazy and heartbreaking life where he gets a pass far as I’m concerned. Not to mention he left his record company and now made his own, which pretty much tonme atleast is as outlaw as it gets.

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