by Paul Bowers
Since February, rock-star-turned-country-singer Darius Rucker has been making periodic stops at the Charleston Sound recording studio, where he is laying down all of the vocal tracks for an upcoming third country album.
Sound engineer Joey Cox says he is impressed with what he has heard.
"Hearing him record is pretty ridiculous, just how good he is," Cox says. "The songs themselves are really strong. I've heard mixes of a couple of the final songs. You know, it's country, but it's readily available country."
Cox says Rucker's most recent stop in the studio was Aug. 8, when he recorded guest vocals for another artist's song. No release date has been announced for Rucker's next album.
Rucker's producer, Frank Rogers, has made Charleston Sound his "home away from home" recently, according to studio owner Jeff Hodges. Rogers is a Florence native who has also worked with Trace Adkins, Brad Paisley, and Josh Turner.
Rucker, who grew up in West Ashley and lives in Awendaw, returns Aug. 17 to the Family Circle Stadium to head up the 10th annual Homegrown Festival with his old band, Hootie & the Blowfish.