Hootie’s Sonefeld and Rucker Redo “Sitting in the Green Grass” – Billboard

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On the 15th-anniversary deluxe edition of Snowman Melting, Jim “Soni” Sonefeld brought in a very special guest to reimagine the album’s “Sitting in the Green Grass”: his Hootie & the Blowfish bandmate Darius Rucker.

The new version, which premieres below, marks the first time any members of the band have recorded new music together since Hootie & the Blowfish’s 2019 album, Imperfect Circle, and is the first time two members have worked together on music outside of the official band. 

The stripped-down song is a lovely testament to escaping from the city and taking time out to breathe in nature as the two band members trade verses. Tiffany Turner, wife of the song’s producer Lee J. Turner, provides backing vocals.

“This [song] seemed almost to be written for [Darius],” Sonefeld told Billboard. “I thought the acoustic, sort of Americana style would suit him well, and he absolutely knocked it out of the park, in my opinion.”

Furthermore, “I thought ‘Sitting in the Green Grass’ was a nice message that represented a little bit of what Darius has gone through, his double career in rock music and country music, having to balance the busyness of the machine that is the music business with trying to find peace in your life as well,” Sonefeld separately said in a statement. 

“Friendships definitely change through decades. Darius and I don’t see each other as much,” he continued. “When you have kids and partners and distance, it’s hard to be the same people you were driving around in a van in the early ’90s. But we’re still family, we’ve been able to watch our kids grow up and see them onto their journeys. And so ‘Sitting in the Green Grass’ I thought was a good fit for Darius. We’re both in a place where our kids are leaving the house, in college or done. It’s not as if we’re going out to pasture, but it is a big moment of time, this season in our lives.”

While the 15th anniversary of Snowman Melting arrives this year, next year marks a big anniversary too: the 30th anniversary of Hootie & the Blowfish’s Cracked Rear View, which catapulted the band into superstardom and has sold more than 21 million copies in the U.S. As to how the band will commemorate, Sonefeld says it’s too soon to tell. “We’ve been talking about how we might approach a tour/recording opportunity as a band,” he says, “But we haven’t come to any conclusions about supporting that anniversary with either a tour, or new music, or both.”

For now, the band’s only plan is to support its Hootie & the Blowfish Foundation with its annual fundraiser, which will take place in the spring.

Snowman Melting, originally released in 2008, was produced and co-written by Francis Dunnery and captured a transitional time for Sonefeld. “Snowman Melting comes out of a time in my life when I was trying to figure out who I was,” Sonefeld said. “A period where a guy who was old enough to know better was still learning life lessons. My life was changing so rapidly – separation, divorce, the band’s last tour and indefinite dormancy for Hootie & the Blowfish. And then a remarriage and a quickly enlarged family. The songs paint a clear picture of what my life looked like in 2006-2008. I can always look back and clearly see the pain, the joy, the transition.

The deluxe edition, out Sept. 29 via Vere Music, also includes a new rendition of “No Reason” with Edwin McCain. 

The re-release comes after Sonefeld published his memoir last year, Swimming With the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing and One Hell of a Ride, and a solo EP, Remember Tomorrow.

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