MUSIC: Kind of Blues

Hootie & the Blowfish make a stirring, soulful debut

The music of Hootie & the Blowfish gets its charge from rock 'n' roll, but it's grounded in the blues. The quartet got together when its members were party-happy students at the University of South Carolina at Columbia. Lead singer Darius Rucker says the band was formed "to make a bit of money, drink a few beers and meet a lot of girls." That was nine years ago. On their major label debut, Cracked Rear View (Atlantic), the band still plays with frat- party swagger -- big, bearish guitar work, brawny drumming -- but Rucker's expressive, doleful vocals reveal an admirably...

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