South Carolina

Hootie & the Blowfish releasing 1st new album since 2005. Here’s how to hear new song.

The mystery now has a name and a date. Hootie & the Blowfish revealed the title and release date for their first album in more than a decade.

Thursday, the band announced the album is titled, “Imperfect Circle,” and it will be released Nov. 1.

Hootie fans can preorder one of three packages that includes the album on vinyl, CD or as a digital download, a T-shirt and, at the highest level, a signed poster.

A new song, “Rollin’,” can be heard by ordering one of the packages.

Last December, Hootie & the Blowfish announced the group was staging a full-scale reunion that would include a tour and new music.

The Group Therapy tour is underway and has been a big hit of ‘90s nostalgia since kicking off May 30 in Virginia Beach. The band that formed while its four members were students at the University of South Carolina is bringing its reunion tour to Colonial Life Arena in Columbia for three shows Sept. 11-13.

The performances will take place before Mark Bryan, Dean Felber, Darius Rucker and Jim ‘Soni’ Sonefeld’s beloved Gamecocks football team hosts Alabama at Williams-Brice Stadium.

Meanwhile, with a series of cryptic messages on the group’s Twitter feed, the band made it clear new songs would be released on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the group tweeted a photo of them performing at a recent concert with a simple message, “Thursday.” The word was sandwiched between emojis of musical notes.

A day later, there was a more direct tweet.

“We haven’t said this in 14 years… New music. Tomorrow.”

Hootie & the Blowfish recorded music for the new album prior to the tour in Nashville, Rolling Stone reported. One of the 17 songs the band debated to include was co-written by Rucker and pop star Ed Sheeran, according to the magazine.

“God, I love this record so much,” Rucker said, according to Rolling Stone.

“We worked hard, spent a year writing and producing and recording this thing, so we’ve put a lot of time and effort into it,” Sonefeld said in an interview with Forbes. “I’m absolutely thrilled at where we landed.”

The group’s last studio album was 2005’s “Looking for Lucky.”

“It means the world that our fans have reacted so positively,” Bryan said in a news release.

When they were getting started, the band played gigs at frat houses and were staples in Five Points bars and restaurants in Columbia, S.C.

Hootie & the Blowfish hit it big when the 1994 album “Cracked Rear View” went platinum 16 times. It remains one of the best-selling albums of all time and won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals in 1995.

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In the early 2000s, the group went on hiatus, and Rucker became an award-winning country music star. The band played a reunion concert in Atlanta in July 2018 that was followed by two more shows in August.

Now the timing is right for a full-scale reunion.

“We always felt there would be another tour, and it was just about timing. We’re not doing this for us. We’re doing it for those people who used to plan their vacations around the Hootie & the Blowfish tour,” Rucker said in the news release. “And we can’t wait to see them again.”

The tour, which will make more than 40 stops, already hit Raleigh, and will be at Charlotte’s PNC Music Pavilion on Sept. 5. A complete list of concert dates is available at Hootie.com.

David Travis Bland contributed to this story.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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