Tuesday, April 9All That Matters

Hootie & the Blowfish perform for an oblivious crowd at a Bbq restaurant in the 90’s (story in comments)

Hootie & the Blowfish perform for an oblivious crowd at a Bbq restaurant in the 90’s (story in comments)

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  • dick122

    This was 1994 or 1995 at a place called Hickory Hollow Bbq in Houston, TX. Tootsie was the lead singer/string bass and throughout the night she noticed a group of guys that seemed to really be into the show. She guessed they were musicians and invited them up, having no idea who they were. Even when Dean Felber (I think?) told her they were Hootie and the Blowfish it meant nothing to her or to anyone there except maybe one or two in the audience.

    Fast forward a week or so later. My aunt, uncle, and cousin came home for a visit. We were all sitting around my grandparents’ house when they put this tape in the VCR. I grew up around bluegrass, old country, and folk music. Practically everyone in the family is musical, something us kids took for granted. So when the video started we rolled our eyes and made fun of their flame outfits. Everyone else mostly talked over it when suddenly there’s that unmistakable voice of Darius Rucker (who we all assumed was named Hootie at the time).

    This was a time when you couldn’t go anywhere without hearing them and it blew my mind that my uncle and cousin didn’t understand how big this band was. It’s not that we were fans, but we certainly knew them and probably had their songs memorized just from them getting constant airplay. My cousin is the goofy one who backs them up with the mandolin. If I remember correctly, he felt they weren’t getting a good reception at first so he thought he’d help them out. My uncle is the one who loans his guitar to Darius.

    That’s about it. I’d nearly forgotten about it but was at my parents this weekend digitizing some of their old home movies and I thought it was interesting enough to share.

  • kleverone

    Wow! This is an incredible video. I always love seeing the videos of bands playing small venues right before the blow up. In this case “Let Her Cry” was already a hit but this crowd didn’t know them from Joe.

    Kinda reminds me of the video of Rage Against the Machine playing that record store.

    Thank you for sharing this!

  • resorcinarene

    It’s crazy how none of these people know who they are. Even friends had an episode that referenced them. That’s huge! So it’s kind of cool that we got to blow people away for the first time

  • jiggerriggeroo

    I saw them play in Vancouver in 1995 and during the finale this girl was sitting on a guy’s shoulders right in front of the stage, lifted up her top and showed off her glorious set of tits while kinda grinding on the guy’s neck. To his credit Darius pretty much pretended not to notice and didn’t miss a beat.

  • phone_scissors_pen

    I love these kinds of “before they were famous” clips. Here’s another favorite.

    [Mumford and Sons playing “The Cave” for a crowd of 20-ish people at an Austin pizzeria patio during SXSW.](https://youtu.be/o0BoSQbk8pg)

    And just for comparison, [here’s them playing the same song just a year later for 1000x as many people, all of whom know every word to the song.](https://youtu.be/tX2vdYEzbzQ)

  • UnRollThePlay

    Growing up in South Carolina and being in highschool in the early 90s there was not a bar, open mic or club these guys did not play.

    I was personally already sick of them by the time they made it. It got to the point where you would be somewhere and go..”What..Hootie Again”

    While I am not a huge fan of their music I will say those guys worked their asses off and truly earned every dollar they made in the following years

  • tres_chill

    I saw a two-piece band a few weeks ago playing to an audience that did not seem to have a single person paying attention. They were at tables eating dinner.

    The two guys were jamming as if the fans were roaring. Their talent was obvious. I went up to them afterwards and it turns out the one guy played sax with major acts in the 70s through the 90s, and just keeps doing gigs. The other guy had some notoriety too. I complemented them on their ability to play with so much energy and heart with an apathetic crowd and they were almost insulted. They told me that happens a lot and it’s part of being a musician. You just always play the best you can.

  • Stingerc

    Back in 1997 or 1998 I saw Nsync play a gigantic beach club in South Padre Island on Spring Break.

    They got booed off the stage, pelted with shit, and they had to bring out the Blues Brother tribute band that opened for them (which fucking killed opening for them and killed once more when they came back).

    I remember turning to my friend and mentioning how much they sucked, calling them a K-Mart version of the backstreet boys.

    I also mentioned the little one with blonde pubes on his head (Justin Timberlake) was probably going to die a virgin.

    Literally a year later they were the biggest act on the planet and Timberlake was balls deep in the most desirable woman in the world at the time. Shows you just how little knowledge of the zeitgeist of the era I had.

  • RandomTrashMob

    Such a pure voice that man has. Still booms even in a tiny non acoustic bar recorded on a 90s handheld Panasonic.

  • DrEnter

    We forget just how fast they blew up. They were essentially a college bar band at the end of the 1993-1994 school year. I was shooting pool with them at The Underground in Clemson, SC, in May of 1994. By the time the next school year had started in August of 1994, they had dropped the first single from what would be one of the best selling albums of all time (21 x platinum).

    Incidentally, they honored all their college bar bookings that year. So they came back to play The Underground that winter, even though they were already getting constant airplay on the radio and MTV.

  • Googooboyy

    I remember buying their cd on a whim because they sounded ‘cool’. Thank god for the sony discman that accompanied me on my train rides to school back then as My ears got glued to em near instantaneously.

  • 37214

    This was fantastic, such a great song as well. Love some Hootie. Caught them about a week before the ‘rona locked everything down in 2020 and loved every minute of it.

  • unclefire

    I love seeing things like this. Just a random bar jam by some people who are (or will soon be) playing arenas with huge selling records.

    I still like their material from that first Album.

    A while back there was an article about how various things hurt the band even after their rise to fame (I’m pretty sure it was them)

  • mamawantsallama

    I’m not even much of a fan but that was wholesome af. Got me all warm and fuzzy. Happy Monday y’all ❤ good stuff

  • LawdTunderin

    My best friend passed away of cancer, but was a huge south Park fan, we would always play hootie and the blowfish “hold my hand” from the PC principal episode where he can’t get it out of his head – made my buddy laugh everytime – thanks hootie and the blowfish

  • Surtock

    I wish I had a video but cell phones weren’t a thing then but I got to see Green Day play a free show at the band shell in my local park back in the 90’s. Well before they hit big. My town had a vibrant punk scene back then. I miss it dearly.

  • hobbbes14

    Fun fact. Darius Rucker came into golf at the country club I worked at as a cook. It was Sunday and the kitchen is closed except for lunch items and only one cooks runs itnfor the day, that’s me. I get an order for a Cuban and make it and send it down. An hour later the bartender comes up and says that you made that for Darius Rucker. I said oh man did he not like it or say something about it. He said, no he said nothing but ate the entire sandwich.

    Greatest compliment I’ve ever received.

  • juggle

    Back in the early to mid 90s, my fraternity would book up and coming bands for a charity concert for the following year. Hootie & the Blowfish was one of the bands we booked. In that following year, Hootie blew up to the point that it was kind of ridiculous they would uphold their agreement, but they did. They ended up playing at our college frat party at the height of their popularity, it was insane.

  • tripletexas

    This was filmed at Hickory Hollow, a damn good barbeque place with a few locations, but this one in Houston Heights has since closed for reasons unknown, as it was always busy. It’s just down the street a little ways from Fitzgerald’s where Hootie and the Blowfish were scheduled to perform. Fitz’s was a smallish live music venue that the yuppies who have moved into the Heights have been trying to close because they don’t like the cool shit that makes the Heights cool.

  • bigdogpepperoni

    That’s amazing, I immediately recognized the Hickory Hollow stage (which my family frequented when I was young) and then Dean confirmed it by saying they were playing at Fitzgeralds (a death trap of a Music Venue in the heights) later and I got chills.

    Unfortunately, Fitzgeralds and Hickory Hollow both no longer exist. I saw tons of amazing shows at Fitzgeralds in my teens, and ate lots of Chicken fried steak at Hickory.

    Thank you for this blast from the past.

  • npanth

    Hootie and the Blowfish is the perfect example of “You have 20 years to make your first album, and 20 months to make your second album.”

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