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Darius and Dierks team up for charity

Since 2003, Hootie & the Blowfish have used their superstar status to assist economically disadvantaged schools with their “Homegrown Concert Series” Tour. Due to Hootie’s recent break in touring this year, lead singer Darius Rucker will perform the annual concert event solo, featuring tracks from his RIAA gold-certified debut country album, LEARN TO LIVE, and fellow country music star, Dierks Bentley, has also signed on to help. Additional guest will be announced in coming weeks. The“Homegrown Concert” will be held at Family Circle Stadium on Thursday, August 13th, 2009. The concert series encourages fans to bring school supplies to the show as a donation, and all supplies will be donated to Charleston County Schools in need. Tickets go on sale Saturday, June 20th at 10 AM. Reserved seating will be available on the Floor and in the First Tier for $40.00, in the Second Tier for $32.00, and General Admission seating will be available in the Third Tier for $25.00 via, Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone (800) 745-3000, local Publix outlets, and at the Family Circle Tennis Center ticket office weekdays from Monday through Thursday, 9:00am – 5:00pm, and on Friday, 9:00am - Noon.

After hearing about budget cuts in education in their home-state of South Carolina in 2003, Rucker and band mates Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, and Jim “Soni” Sonefeld, were inspired to act to ensure students’ learning wasn’t cut short as a result. They established the annual concert in their hometown, Charleston, SC, as a way to help raise awareness to the needs of local school children in the community. The night of the concert, ticket holders were asked to bring school supplies to the concert held at Family Circle Stadium. The response was so overwhelming that a 55-seat school bus was filled from top to bottom with school supplies that were distributed to the schools and teachers in the Charleston County School District. With the incredible success of this first venture, the band decided to expand the concert into other markets. Since its conception, the band and their loyal fans have gathered enough school supplies to pack over 60 buses, (7 buses in Charleston alone) a total of $300,000.00 worth of school supplies.

Rucker insisted on continuing the homegrown tradition that Hootie started eight years ago. “With Dean’s surgery and the break in Hootie for the year for my solo country album, we all agreed it was important to continue the benefit concert efforts, but with a country twist this year. It will be a great night, and we look forward to returning for the “Homegrown Concert” as Hootie in the coming years.”

Having sold over 25 million albums since their debut in 1994, Hootie & the Blowfish are ranked as one of the most successful music groups of all time. The band believes that with success comes responsibility, so using their celebrity status to help improves the lives of those in need, they have also established the Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation. This foundation, which originally benefited children of South Carolina through supporting school music programs, has since spread to a nationwide campaign. Even with his recent crossover solo country success, Rucker has vowed to maintain his level of contribution to the Foundation and the South Carolina education system.

Darius Rucker’s album LEARN TO LIVE marked his first project with Capitol Records Nashville and established the Grammy-winning singer/songwriter as a major force in country music. The album’s bittersweet centerpiece, “Don’t Think I Don’t Know About It,” topped the country charts uninterrupted for two weeks. Rucker's follow-up single, "It Won't Be Like This For Long," parked him at the top of the charts yet again for three consecutive weeks. The current single from Live, “Alright,” is currently Top 15 and climbing. Rucker has found a new home in the country format and intends to continue recording and releasing records to country radio.

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