With the release of the single 'Hold My Hand' in 1995, the world was introduced to Hootie & The Blowfish. Immediately embraceable and upbeat, their music was a gust of fresh air in a room full of the stale smoke of the grunge era - just a simple recipe of good songs and old-fashioned bluesy rock with a heart-felt message. Their debut album climbed to #1 and produced two more hits, 'Let Her Cry' and 'Only Wanna Be With You,' along the way.
Getting their start at the University of South Carolina, they gained considerable regional fame by playing at everything from fraternity parties to dive bars. The band was named after the nicknames of two of their college friends.
Approached and signed by Atlantic Records before ever releasing a major album, they put together and released Cracked Rear View in 1994. They had minor success on independent labels but nothing like the success they received for this album. By the spring of 1996, the album had gone multi-platinum, twelve times to be exact, and the band was awarded two Grammy Awards. Hootie & The Blowfish won Best New Artist, and Best Pop Performance by a Group.
Then came their second album, Fair Weather Johnson in early 1996, which was not received as well as the first. Cracked Rear View sold 13 million copies but the second sold only 3 million (though it still went double platinum).
However, the second album was stronger and more hard-edged than the first with such songs as 'Be The One,' 'Old Man & Me (When I Get To Heaven)' and 'Tuckers Town.' Regardless of the diminished response, the band continued to do what had made them famous in the first place - entertaining crowds of people and writing their own songs as a band.
Their next album, Musical Chairs, released in 1998, produced two top 40 hits, 'I Will Wait' and 'Only Lonely', and went platinum. In 2000 Scattered, Smothered and Covered - a collection of their best cover songs, was released, giving an example of their musical taste. Darius Rucker released a soul-based solo album called Back To Then in 2002, but was back with the band for the release of the self-titled Hootie & The Blowfish.
The Blowfish left Atlantic Records and released Best Of Hootie & The Blowfish 1993-2003. They continue to be well-received, and do what made them famous in the first place, touring and entertaining fans. The band is made up of Darius Rucker (Vocals and Guitar), Mark Bryan (guitar, mandolin and piano), Jim 'Soni' Sonefeld (drums and percussion), Dean Felber (bass). All of them do background vocals, and none of them are Hootie or The Blowfish.