Darius Rucker is getting ready to introduce new music to his fans: The South Carolina native will release a new album, the followup to 2015's Southern Style, this spring. Rucker has been working with producer Ross Copperman on the project, and says that he's "really excited about the work, and ... about people hearing it."

"I can’t believe it’s almost a decade that I’ve been in Nashville doing what I’m doing. I’m still having success in my ripe old age, and I’m having a lot of fun doing it," Rucker tells The Boot. "There’s not a lot of ballads on this record; I think we have maybe two to three ballads, and the rest are mid-tempos or uptempos."

That decision, Rucker admits, is all Copperman.

"It’s Ross’ high energy -- Ross' nonstop going and always-ready-to-go kind of energy that Ross brings to the record," the artist explains. "I’m just really excited."

The debut single from Rucker's forthcoming project, "If I Told You," was written by Copperman, Shane McAnally and Jon Nite, but it's one that resonates strongly with Rucker, despite his lack of writing credit.

"That song is just so real," Rucker shares, "and every time I sing it, I feel it; I didn’t even write it, and I feel it every time I sing it because it’s so me, and so real.

"Shane and those guys are great songwriters," Rucker adds. "One of the great reasons to be in Nashville is, you get guys like Shane McAnally to write songs with."

The music video for "If I Told You" was shot at the famed Capitol Records building in Los Angeles, which allowed Rucker to channel some musical greats.

"I’ve never been on the roof of the Capitol building, and that was just so cool," remembers Rucker. "Being in that studio and standing where Sinatra stood, making all those great records, and seeing all the pictures on the wall of the great artists that have come through there …"

Rucker hints that there will be a few special guests on his new set of tunes, but he declines to reveal who will appear.

"There’s a great one that I did with a couple of guys that I’m really excited about," he teases. "It’s going to be really good. It’s going to be a lot of fun."

And, Rucker adds, his upcoming disc will show his fans -- many of whom have been with him since his days as the frontman of Hootie & the Blowfish -- a new side of him.

"It’s really different than anything I’ve done before," Rucker says. "It’s different, fresh and fun; it’s real. I’ll tell you, there’s some songs on there that we wrote that are pretty real."

"If I Told You" is available for download on iTunes.

New Country, Americana, Alt-Country, Bluegrass and Folk Albums Coming in 2017

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