By Steve Knopper, Newsday
July 26, 2014 6 a.m.
As a kid, Darius Rucker listened carefully to Kenny Rogers singing "Coward of the County" on the radio. As a 28-year-old, he fronted Hootie & the Blowfish, a band whose impossibly smooth-sounding 1994 pop album "Cracked Rear View" sold more than 16 million copies. At 42, Rucker rediscovered his commercial voice after years of drifting in and out of Hootie. Beginning in 2008 with his hit "Don't Think I Don't Think About It," he began to redefine himself as a country singer, writing songs not with a band but with a rotating group of Nashville session pros.