You can take the guy out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the guy: No one knows this saying as well as Darius Rucker, a sentiment he echoes in the new video for “Southern Style,” off his album of the same name. Even when he was making rock & roll history with Hootie & the Blowfish, his South Carolina roots were never far behind — and now, as a Nashville institution on his fourth country record, he shows that the southern style he sings about can travel with you anywhere, but it’s best celebrated at home with family and friends (and maybe a shrimp boil).
The clip, premiering exclusively on Rolling Stone Country, is a tale about how to carry the intrigue of southern life wherever you roam. Here, it’s three friends traveling from San Francisco and the snow-capped Colorado mountains back to the South Carolina docks, smelling the sea air and digging in to a country feast. The Rucker family gets in on the action too, as the singer’s wife, Beth, and kids Jack and Dani all make cameos.
“I’m sure [there are] a lot of people that live in Pennsylvania and listen to country music and kind of consider that they live a kind of southern style,” Rucker told Rolling Stone Country recently. “I think people are taking it that way instead of as a song about living in the South.”
Describing a girl who’s sweet to strangers and likes both Lil Wayne and Lynyrd Skynyrd, “Southern Style” is all about embracing the qualities of a lifestyle without exclusivity: It’s a state of mind and a way of being, not a specific dot on a map. Featuring Rich Robinson of the Black Crowes on guitar, the song follows the album’s first single, “Homegrown Honey,” which Rucker wrote with Lady Antebellum’s Charles Kelley.
Rucker’s Southern Style Tour, underway now, runs through August.