When your good friends at Country Lowdown ask you if you would be willing to interview Hootie and the Blowfish one has to be willing to step in!
Several weeks ago I knew there may be a small opportunity of an interview with the band during their UK tour. Kate, Caroline & Helen all had other commitments that night – nothing was definite, but I got to work in eager anticipation of meeting the man himself. Not being over familiar with much of the Hootie era, I played old hits in the car, leaving my new purchases of Highway Women, ZBB’s Owl and Brantley Gilbert’s Fire and Brimstone still encased in cellophane in my glove box. I was surprised just how many hits I was aware of: ‘I Go Blind’, ‘Let Her Cry’, ‘Hold My Hand’, and ‘Only Wanna Be with You’ . Many of these Darius will sing on his solo tours which I have attended in recent years.
I researched my subjects, learned the Blowfish by name (Mark – Curly Hair, Dean – Glasses, Jim – Bald!), and revised my questions until I knew them by heart, enough to come across as ultra professional and not let the team down by fangirling – I can do this I am a professional! As my non-Country work colleague pointed out, “If you can present to clients, you can chat to a band about something you are passionate about!“
So the final confirmation came 24 hours before the Birmingham gig. We were on!
As we stood outside the dressing room a friend came out with a smile and winked at me. The door was ajar and Darius and two of his Blowfish ( Mark Curly Hair, Dean Glasses ) were sitting on a sofa on their phones, just three regular guys! I walked in and shook their hands, and I did have to tell them upfront this was my first time and to excuse any bumbling. Darius really is my favourite Country Artist and I needed to keep it together. Once I was in my flow I got more confident and hope I did the Country Lowdown Team proud – I will leave you to make up your own minds.
At the very end I did get the opportunity to fangirl a little. All of us have that special song which has meant something extra over time, and Darius’ song “This” is mine and my husband John’s . To get the chance to tell Darius himself how much it means to us, that it was our first dance and to ask him to sign a wedding photo really was one of those moments I have dreamed about.
I cannot thank Kate, Caroline and Helen enough . A Wednesday night in Birmingham I will never forget.
To see Mary’s interview please head over to our Facebook page. Enjoy!