Winston-Salem, NC (June 1, 2015)—F. Scott Fitzgerald said “There are no second acts in American lives,” but then again, Darius Rucker wasn’t alive at the time. After riding the rollercoaster of Hootie & the Blowfish’s massive mid-Nineties success, Rucker reinvented himself as a chart-topping country music artist. Currently on the road for his fourth studio album, Southern Style, he still works the same sound company he did during Hootie’s heyday, Winston-Salem, North Carolina’s Special Event Services (SES), and the audio vendor is still setting him up with the latest L-Acoustics PAs.
“We were once a small company, just starting out, and one of the bands we were working with then was Hootie & The Blowfish,” recalls Jason Farah, co-founder and co-owner of, sound-reinforcement provider for the Southern Style tour and whose clients also include Joe Bonamassa, Sam Smith, Justin Moore, Charli XCX and the Avett Brothers.
SES went on the road with the band in the wake of its 1994 major-label debut, Cracked Rear View, and by 2000, it was touring exclusively with an SES L-Acoustics V-Dosc system. “They told us, ‘You were there for us in the beginning, so now that we’re on a major label, we’re taking you with us,’” Farah remembers. “They took us to national prominence and we’ve been with Darius ever since.”
Today, the Darius Rucker Band is out on tour with SES’ newly acquired L-Acoustics K1 system, using a split system of eight K1 speakers atop eight K2 speakers per side, plus eight SB28 subs per side groundstacked below. A dozen Arcs enclosures are used as needed for ancillary fills, and six dV-Dosc serve as lip fills for the stage, all powered by 24 LA8 amplified controllers housed in eight LA-Raks.
“We get such a powerful throw out of this system, which is exactly what we need to reach the lawns for these shed shows, and the 10-degree inter-element angle on those K2s gives us punch in the nearfield, which used to be a challenge,” explains Bryan Kiger, systems engineer for SES on the Southern Style tour. “This configuration gives us a nice wide coverage, which is perfect for these kinds of venues.”
He adds, “The K1 is a great tool that lets me get at the sound—it doesn’t fight me. We’re mixing the show through a vintage Midas XL4 console, and the combination of the finest analog console ever made with the finest speaker system built is true sonic beauty.”
Special Event Services