Rucker sings of loss and despair as if they've left him shell-shocked. But Hootie -- born at frat parties and still a bar band at heart -- know how to deliver beers-and-tears material, and the occasional anti-racist slam, with a smile. The same sly grin crept into songs of frustration -- country writer Radney Foster's "A Fine Line" and the Who's "I Can't Explain." But Rucker is no more Charley Pride than Bryan is Pete Townshend.
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