'Charleston, SC 1966,' is due October 12 on Capitol Nashville, and will include 12 songs. That's just shy of the 77 songs he wrote for the new project (and the 52 he penned for 'Learn to Live'!), although narrowing that number down to a dozen wasn't as difficult as it might sound.
"We just listened to them and saw what was rising to the top," Darius tells the Victoria Advocate newspaper in Texas. "When I say that, people say to me, 'Man, that must be a hard decision.' No, not really. The best songs really rise to the top."
The CMA Best New Artist award winner and former Hootie and the Blowfish singer adds that fans of 'Learn to Live' will find similarities to it with the new record.
"I don't think it's going to be light-years different," he notes. "This record is more of an expansion of the last record than anything else. It's like picking up where the last record left off."
While it's obvious to anyone who knows Darius' story that the title is a reference to his hometown and the year of his birth, what's not as immediately apparent is that the title also pays tribute to Radney Foster's first solo album, which was titled 'Del Rio, TX 1959.' Listening to Radney, he says is what first made Darius realize he might have a future as a country artist.
"It was his voice," Darius explains. "It was really the first time where I had heard country music where I thought, 'Man, I could sing that.' I always liked it, but ... I never really knew I could play it. But then I heard Radney and it was like, 'Wow, that guy's amazing.'"
The album teams Darius with producer Frank Rogers again and he's also one of several songwriters whom he collaborated with on material for the album. He adds that fans shouldn't be surprised if some of the songs he wrote but didn't put on either album end up being recorded by other acts.
"The last record, it would've been hard to have somebody cut a song that we wrote," he acknowledges. "I was just so new. It was like, 'Who wants a Darius Rucker castoff?' They might want one now."
Darius is currently on Brad Paisley's H2O World tour. Find out where they'll be next by clicking here.
Download Darius Rucker Songs