The quartet met while attending the University of South Carolina in Columbia in the late s. New freshman Mark Bryan heard Darius Rucker singing in the showers of the dorm they shared and was impressed by his vocal ability. The unlikely moniker was borrowed from the nicknames of two college friends. By the time they graduated, endless gigs at frat parties and local bars had built a major local buzz.
Where people listen
Even in the years before Hootie, an earnest and deceptively easygoing roots-rock band, became a global pop phenomenon, there were indignities. The South by Southwest festival turned them down, year after year. Record labels sent stiff rejection letters. Still, Hootie persevered, thriving in the face of indifference. It got so big. Late last year, Rucker, 53, and the band — the guitarist Mark Bryan, 52; the drummer Jim Soni Sonefeld, 54; and the bassist Dean Felber, 51 — gathered at the office the group has maintained for almost three decades in Columbia, S. The conversation was boisterous, cathartic. The band won two Grammys in , including best new artist. After that, however, came a precipitous drop.
The band went on hiatus in until they announced plans for a full reunion tour in and released their first new studio album in fourteen years, Imperfect Circle. As of [update] , the band had charted sixteen singles on various Billboard singles charts and recorded six studio albums. Their debut album, Cracked Rear View , is the 19th-best-selling album of all time in the United States , and was certified platinum 21 times. They have sold over 21 million copies of their albums in the United States. The group was also popular in Canada, having three number-one singles in the country. The pair began playing cover tunes as the Wolf Brothers. The name is a conjunction of the nicknames of two of their college friends.