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The Blue & Gray Press | November 19, 2017

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Hootie Guitarist Goes Solo

By Tricia Callahan

Hootie and the Blowfish sold over 12 million copies of their 1994 release “Cracked Rear View,” according to Billboard Magazine’s website. “Rear View” is one of the top-selling albums of all time, topped only by names like Elvis and The Beatles.
But where are the musicians of South Carolina’s blues rock quartet now?
Lead singer Darius Rucker has come out with a fairly successful country record “Learn to Live.”
Rucker’s band mate guitarist Mark Bryan has also released a solo album called “End of the Front.”  The album is a tight guitar-driven collection of songs which express a variety of themes.
“The songs were written over a 10 year period, and convey many different messages. The title is a nod to turning 40, and being comfortable with who I am. It is the end of the front half of my life, but I am also setting out to ditch the ego, and be my true self,” Bryan said in an interview.
Bryan jumps from genre to genre with no real concern of following a main-stream pattern:
“I try to make the feel of the music match the subject matter of the song, regardless of style.”
Songs like “Fork in the Road” and “Everybody’s Heart” show that Bryan has really established himself as a true solo act.
The lingering question: Do the members of Hootie still hang out after their latest group effort in 2005’s “Looking for Lucky?”
“All the time. We are great friends, as are our families,” Bryan said. He went on to support Rucker saying, “The guy can sing pretty much anything. He was just born to do it.”
Bryan’s latest work was released in March 2008 but his top three priorities are his children Marlee, Kenny, and Madelynn.
Bryan, a guitarist that rose from a band that is now a true legend has his head on straight and his music reflects it.