“Hey Mama, Rock Me” — Darius Rucker’s cover of “Wagon Wheel” should make a True Believer out of any Hootie-loving holdouts

I’m already a huge fan of Darius Rucker, whether he’s performing with Hootie and the Blowfish or as a chart-topping country solo songwriter. And though I’m always more interested in originals, this cover he chose to record of Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel” should convert many who haven’t yet jumped onto his solo bandwagon. The song totally fits where Rucker comes from as a down home South Carolina boy born and bred, and should prime the pump for all the great songs we can expect to reside on True Believer when it comes out later this spring. Hell, Rucker sounds way more comfortable on songs like this than he had on any Hootie single of the last decade.

Even the way he stumbled on the song in the first place has a great feel to it (thanks to The Boot for the great quote!)

“Somebody had played ‘Wagon Wheel’ for me years ago,” Darius explains. “It was one of those things that I didn’t really get. So, I’m at my daughter’s high school talent show, and I’m sitting in the audience with my family. We were watching my daughter, and the faculty band gets up. It’s just the faculty from her school, and they play ‘Wagon Wheel.’ I’m sitting in the audience, and they get to the middle of the chorus, and I turned to my wife, and I go, ‘I’ve got to cut this song.’ I’m serious. This all happened in three-and-a-half minutes, four minutes, while they’re playing the song.

The singer-songwriter knows the tune, written by Bob Dylan, may be a bit of a gamble, but believes it’s worth the risk. “[I texted producer] Frank Rogers, ‘Do you know this ‘Wagon Wheel’ song?'” he recalls. “He’s like, ‘Yeah. It’s by Old Crow Medicine Show. A lot of people have cut it.’ I said, ‘I don’t care! I’m cutting it!’ He’s like, ‘Yeah, dude. We’ll try it. We’ll cut it.’ So I cut it, and it was great after we finished it.”

Anyone else out there excited to hear the rest of True Believer?


25 thoughts on ““Hey Mama, Rock Me” — Darius Rucker’s cover of “Wagon Wheel” should make a True Believer out of any Hootie-loving holdouts

    • I got drowned in ribfest american in Iowa . Think he played one song and mother nature came down hard. Hootie and the blowfish concert. Id love to see him in the big country bash in Iowa this summer. Very talented and impressive whatever Genre he sings. to people who love all music.


    • Still hoping to get a hold of the pre-release for review of the full album … if I do, you guys will all read about it here first πŸ™‚ Thanks for commenting, Monique!

    • Agreed … I hear this song constantly on the radio and yet I’m still not sick of it. Looking forward to hearing what the rest of the album has to offer. Thanks for reading! πŸ™‚

  1. I’ve always liked Darius Rucker. I’m not a CD person or MP3 person by any stretch of the imagination but I bought Cracked Rear View on cassette when it came out way back when and I bought the follow-up Fairweather Johnson. When I heard Hey Mama, Rock Me I didn’t realize he was doing a cover – and I still don’t – because he OWNS this song! Thank you for keeping the faith, Darius, and not selling out.

Join the "Hear! Hear!" conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s