Darius Rucker on 18 Years Between Grammys

There was one awkward moment backstage at the Grammy Awards . But other than that, this Darius Rucker video interview is perfect.

The awkward came right in the beginning when Rucker was asked to recall when he wrote “Wagon Wheel,” the recording that won him a Grammy for best solo country performance.

The problem? Rucker didn’t write it. The song is, in fact, almost older than Rucker himself. It was originally written in the early ’70s by Bob Dylan and then later polished up by Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show.

But whatever its origins, Sunday’s (Jan. 26) win his first Grammy since his band Hootie & the Blowfish won the best new artist award in 1996.

“Grammys are a game changer,” Rucker said. “I’m amazed. You know, 18 years between Grammy nominations and Grammy wins, and here I am just trying to make it in country music. This is my first Grammy in country music. I’m over the moon right now. That’s awesome.”

Rucker handled the songwriting question well, just saying, “The thing is, I didn’t write it,” and then telling the story of how it ended up on his True Believers album.

“I was at my daughter’s high school talent show, and I heard the teachers were playing it,” Rucker recalled. “And I decided I was gonna cut it. I thought I could do well, but I didn’t think I was going to win a Grammy. It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I was driving over, and we heard, and I started freaking out.”

Rucker added that the switch from pop to country has been more good than bad.

“For me, it’s been a lot of fun. A lot of hard work, but I don’t mind hard work. I really can’t believe I just won another Grammy,” he said again, admitting he hadn’t been able to wrap his head around it yet. “I plan to make records as long as people wanna keep listening to them.”

Before the Grammy Awards, Rucker was a guest Friday (Jan. 24) on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, performing his new single “Miss You.”

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.