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By Karen Freeman
They stood shoulder to shoulder at Stir Cove on Saturday night, for a sold-out show featuring Darius Rucker, the former front-man for Hootie and the Blowfish, turned country star. It was a beautiful night and a beautiful experience.
But before we get to Mr. Rucker, let me just expound upon the talent that preceded him. Jocelyn Mohammed, a 19-year old singer from Omaha graced the stage for a 40-minute performance that knocked this reviewer out. Darius Rucker discovered Miss Jocelyn’s talent in an episode of Undercover Boss. Long story short, Rucker saw the potential in this gifted and gracious performer, and gave her a stipend to jump-start her career and is hooking her up for a record deal as well. She has a sweet and soulful presence, and her original tunes were thoughtful and thought provoking. Jocelyn has played the street corners of the Old Market and the stages of the Slowdown and Waiting Room. She seemed right at home on the Stir Cove platform, and with a little polish, we are going to be following this young lady’s career for years to come. She was surrounded by a small but mighty group of musicians, and she made me...and everyone around me, just smile.
I don’t want to do Darius Rucker a disservice by continuing to associate him with Hootie & the Blowfish, but if it hadn’t been for his amazing talent as that lead singer, I may never have paid attention to him as a country singer. Rucker launched his country career in 2008, and he hasn’t had to look back since doing so. While winning a host of accolades in the transition, he seems so very comfortable in this genre. He was the 2009 Country Music Association New Artist of the Year, and won his second Grammy in 2013 for the Best Country Solo Performance of Wagon Wheel. Rucker has that deep and expressive vocal talent that just brings you to your knees. He is committed and commanding when he performs. He featured melody after melody of meaningful country lyrics before breaking into some brief Hootie moments, and topping it off with a couple of diverse covers from both ends of the universe – Garth Brooks and Dr Dre. It was all just way more fun that you can imagine. This show was very entertaining, the crowd was appreciative and it was a blend of happiness from beginning to end.
The appeal of Darius Rucker was apparent in the diversity of the crowd. Stir Cove is an all ages venue, and that’s what you had on Saturday…all ages, all sexes, all ethnicities. What a wonderful feeling after a week of turmoil in our country. Stir Cove and Darius Rucker brought us all together and we could not have valued it more. Huge kudos and huge thanks go out to all.
Don’t miss your chance to share the experience that is Stir Cove, it is one of the finest outdoor venues in this area and has something for everyone.
To see images from the show click the following link: http://nightlifeco.com/omaha/gallery/darius-rucker-w-jocelyn