Darius Rucker is still going strong after decades in the music industry, embarking on the European leg of his “Starting Fires” tour and releasing a collaborative version of “Never Been Over” with Jennifer Nettles, as well as gearing up to embark on the Summer Camp with Trucks Tour with Hootie & the Blowfish, gearing up to release his first book, titled Life’s Too Short, and more.

The three-time GRAMMY Award-winner sat down with Music Mayhem and other media to discuss his numerous projects, spilling all of the behind the scenes secrets.

“Never Been Over” featuring Jennifer Nettles

His most recent endeavor was the release of “Never Been Over” featuring Jennifer Nettles, which arrived on April 26 as a surprise to country music fans. The tune had already been released previously as a solo effort. Nonetheless, this new and improved version is set to impact country radio on May 5 and some might say it is even better than the original.

“Never Been Over” was a part of Rucker’s most recent album, Carolyn’s Boy — which hit all streaming platform in October of 2023 — featuring smash hits “Fires Don’t Start Themselves” and “Beers And Sunshine,” a cover of Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” from the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack and more. Serving as “one of the most personal songs” that Rucker has ever written, he felt as though “Never Been Over” didn’t get the recognition it deserved the first time around, and adding a female voice to the track was exactly what was needed to give the tune a brand new life.

“‘Never Been Over’ is such an honest song,” he admitted of the track, which references his recent divorce after twenty years of marriage. “That song is being interpreted in so many different ways. Some people hear it as a love song, some people hear it as a breakup song and all this stuff, and I think when we wrote it, [co-writers John Osborne and Lee Miller] were writing it as a love song and I was writing it as a breakup song, and it all came into what it is. It’s pretty funny that everybody’s getting different things out of it, but it was just a song.”

He concluded passionately, “It was so therapeutic to write that song… I felt that the only way I could really tell the story is to be vulnerable, and you know, that’s the only way I think it would have worked for me, so I’m glad we did that. I’m glad we just told the truth.”

The Creation of “Never Been Over” as a whole

After talking about the buzzed-about song for quite a while, Rucker delved into the details behind “Never Been Over” and how it came to be, as well as how Nettles was deemed to be the perfect collaborator for the track.

“When we wrote it, we talked about it being a duet,” the talented singer/songwriter prefaced. “When we cut it, we kept talking about, ‘Hey man, who can we get on this song? Let’s get someone on this song and it’d be special.’” Ultimately deciding to keep it as a solo song and release it as a part of Carolyn’s Boy, Rucker could not get the idea of a collaboration out of his head, requesting to his record label that “Never Been Over” not only be a single, but also a duet, which is where Nettles entered the picture.

He explained, “We were in a meeting talking about a lot of stuff like who could do it, and somebody said Jennifer Nettles and the room stopped. I was like, ‘That’s it. Let’s call her. If she says yes, don’t call anybody else.’” Naturally, the Sugarland member obliged, and the rest is history!

Darius Rucker; Photo Courtesy of Jim Wright
Darius Rucker; Photo Courtesy of Jim Wright

“Never Been Over” Music Video

Rucker also teased that a music video for “Never Been Over” is on the horizon, sharing exactly what his fans can expect.

It appears that the “Never Been Over” music video will have some old-school energy. Rucker sharing, “The first thing I thought was that this is one of those throwback old-school duets where, you know, [Nettles] created such magic at the end of that song, and every time I hear it, I get chills.” Admitting that “Jennifer is taking it to a new level,” Rucker added that she is undoubtedly on board with the idea of a music video, and we will just have to wait and see what exactly it will entail.

Darius Rucker Starting Fires Tour

Aside from the brand new tune, Rucker has been on the road concluding his Starting Fires tour. After playing all across the United States and Canada, he is officially in the midst of the European leg of the tour, beginning on April 19 in Cologne, Germany and hitting venues in Switzerland, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and more.

Sharing that he and his band “play a totally different setlist over there,” the “Wagon Wheel” singer detailed some major differences he has experienced while performing overseas. “The album tracks over there are so much more important than it is over here… The deepest track you think no one’s going to know and everybody is in there singing it, and so I think we might play some songs that we like to play a little more, you know, than the hits. You still play the hits and everything, but I just love it.”

He concluded with a smile, “I made a point to go over there for the last 16 years. I think we’ve been there eight or nine times and, you know, it’s paying off. We’re doing well. We’re selling out everything and playing to bigger places every time we go… Country music’s getting such a foothold over there that I just wanted to be a part of it.”

Darius Rucker; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Darius Rucker; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Remaining “Starting Fires” Tour Dates


30 – Birmingham, United Kingdom @ Birmingham O2 Academy


1 – Bristol, United Kingdom @ Bristol Beacon
3 – London, United Kingdom @ London Eventim Apollo
5 – Leeds, United Kingdom @ Leeds O2 Academy
6 – Glasgow, United Kingdom @ Glasgow O2 Academy
9 – Dublin, Ireland @ Dublin Olympia Theatre
11 – Belfast, United Kingdom @ Belfast Waterfront Hall

Hootie & the Blowfish Summer Camp with Trucks Tour

Aside from touring as a solo artist, Darius Rucker will be reuniting with his former University of South Carolina classmates turned Hootie & the Blowfish bandmates for the Summer Camp with Trucks tour. Consisting of Rucker, Mark Bryan, Dean Felber and Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, the group will visit 43 cities all across the United States and Canada, marking their first full tour since 2019.

“We’re a family, you know, we’re like brothers who don’t see each other very much,” Rucker explained about the dynamic of Hootie & the Blowfish despite spending some time away from one another. “As soon as we get back in the same room, we all fall back into the same hierarchy that we’ve had our whole 40 years of being a band. We fall back into the same, you know, not funny jokes and the same things that we do all the time. It’s just like four guys that are brothers that have known each other our whole lives… We have so much respect for each other. It’s always positive, It’s always good, [and] It’s always upbeat. We figured we got one summer together. There’s no need to be fighting and doing stupid stuff.”

Hootie & The Blowfish; Photo Provided
Hootie & The Blowfish; Photo Provided

As far as what this “one summer together” will entail, Rucker compared and contrasted what his solo shows tend to look like in comparison to his Hootie & the Blowfish shows, teasing what the latter will have in store during the upcoming Summer Camp with Trucks tour.

“The Hootie thing is definitely that classic rock nostalgia thing, you know, and so we go out there and we try to take a lot of people back to their childhoods or college or high school when, you know, all that stuff was big and they were listening to it,” he prefaced. “When I’m on stage with my country band, the stage is mine. When I’m on stage with Hootie, you know, I could go to Mark’s side, but I got to make sure Mark’s doing something. It’s just something that we’ve honed in on over the years of being separate enough and being a band where, you know, everybody’s got something to look at.”

He concluded, “A lot of bands perform and want to get to that place that we’re at, where you can go out and tour every four or five years and sell out arenas and have a great time, you know, but then a lot of bands want to complain about that because when you get that, you’re usually old.” On the contrary, this is something that Hootie & the Blowfish are extremely proud of, with Rucker promising “something special” for anyone who attends the group’s tour.

Summer Camp with Trucks Tour Dates


30 – Dallas, Texas @ Dos Equis Pavilion
31 – Rogers, Arkansas @ Walmart AMP


1 – St. Louis, Missouri @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre
6 – Detroit, Michigan @ Pine Knob Music Theatre
7 – Cincinnati, Ohio @ Riverbend Music Center
8 – Indianapolis, Indiana @ Ruoff Music Center
13 – Gilford, New Hampshire @ BankNH Pavilion
14 – Bangor, Maine @ Maine Savings Amphitheatre
15 – Saratoga Springs, New York @ Broadview Stage at SPAC
21 – Boston, Massachusetts @ Fenway Park
27 – Bethel, New York @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
28 – Hershey, Pennsylvania @ Hersheypark Stadium
29 – Burgettstown, Pennsylvania @ The Pavilion at Star Lake


10 – Denver, Colorado @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre ~
11 – Salt Lake City, Utah @ USANA Amphitheatre
13 – Phoenix, Arizona @ Footprint Center
16 – Anaheim, California @ Honda Center
17 – Mountain View, California @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
19 – Portland, Oregon @ RV Inn Styles Amphitheater
20 – Seattle, Washington @ White River Amphitheatre
26 – Birmingham, Alabama @ Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
27 – Nashville, Tennessee @ Bridgestone Arena


1 – Hartford, Connecticut @ The XFINITY Theatre
2 – Holmdel, New Jersey @ PNC Bank Arts Center
3 – Columbia, Maryland @ Merriweather Post Pavilion
8 – Somerset, Wisconsin @ Somerset Amphitheater
9 – Chicago, Illinois @ Credit Union 1 Amphitheatre
10 – East Troy, Wisconsin @ Alpine Valley Music Theatre
15 – Cleveland, Ohio @ Blossom Music Center
16 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania @ Freedom Mortgage Pavilion
17 – Bristow, Virginia @ Jiffy Lube Live
29 – Columbia, South Carolina @ Colonial Life Arena


5 – Wantagh, New York @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
6 – Syracuse, New York @ Empower FCU Amphitheater at Lakeview
7 – Toronto, Ontario @ Budweiser Stage
12 – Knoxville, Tennessee @ Thompson-Boling Arena at Food City Center
13 – Raleigh, North Carolina @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
14 – Virginia Beach, Virginia @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater
19 – Charlotte, North Carolina @ PNC Music Pavilion
20 – Alpharetta, Georgia @ Ameris Bank Amphitheatre
26 – Tampa, Florida @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre
27 – Jacksonville, Florida @ VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena
28 – West Palm Beach, Florida @ iTHINK Financial Amphitheatre

First Book, Life’s Too Short

With music and touring aside, a third endeavor that Rucker has in the work is his first book, a memoir titled Life’s Too Short. Being released via Dey Street Books on May 28, Life’s Too Short will showcase a much more vulnerable side to the country crooner, as he tells his life story — the good, the bad and the ugly — all while utilizing some of the songs that shaped his life.

“If I look back at my life and try to see into my past, everything seems blurry, but then I lean in and start to hear something. Melodies. Chords. Harmonies. Lyrics. This book is the story of my life as told through 23 songs that took me away, soaring, starting at ground level, living in a poor but happy home, never wanting for much more, enjoying what I had, even when times got tough, because I had my escape, my refuge, my music,” Rucker shared before delving into the details of its creation.

Darius Rucker Memoir Life's Too Short
Darius Rucker Memoir Life’s Too Short

His Memoir Will Tell His Life Story

Admitting that he was as honest as can be in his memoir, Rucker continued, “I just wanted to tell the story and I wanted people to understand this is the hard stuff and the good stuff, you know, this is all the stuff that made me who I am today… I wanted you to read it like we were sitting in a bar and I was telling you my life story, and so that that’s how we wrote it.”

He concluded by extending advice to artists who may be toying with the idea of writing a book of their own, telling Music Mayhem and other media, “Now that it’s done and everything, I would tell other other artists to just be honest and be yourself and write it like you’re telling the story.”

While fans anxiously await the release of Life’s Too Short, they can stream “Never Been Over” featuring Jennifer Nettles on their favorite platform as we speak, as well as secure concert tickets to his upcoming treks.

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Originally from Southern California and currently residing in Music City, Melanie graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in Journalism before beginning her career as a music and entertainment journalist. Beginning to write for Music Mayhem in August of 2023, she has also contributed to Holler, Country Now, Country Chord, Celeb Secrets, Celeb Secrets Country, We Got This Covered and Decider throughout her career thus far. When she is not writing, Melanie enjoys going to concerts and music festivals, binging her favorite television shows, spending time with her friends and family and cheering on the Oklahoma Sooners (of course).

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