Darius Rucker continues to explore life as a country artist, as the Hootie & The Blowfish frontman updates today with new gigs for 2009. Look for Mr. Rucker playing Mahnomen, Minnesota, on February 12 at Shooting Star Casino. On February 13 Darius rolls into New Town, North Dakota, for a gig at 4 Bears Casino and Lodge. February 27 brings him to Northwood, Iowa, where he will play Diamond Jo Casino, and March 21 puts him in Welch, Minnesota, at Treasure Island Casino. Other new additions include Atlanta in May, Camden, New Jersey in June and Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, in August.

Gretchen Wilson packs up her country ‘tude and takes it on the road next year. New 2009 additions include February 28 in Saint Charles, Illinois, at Pheasant Run Mainstage Theater, May 13 in Victorville, California, at the fairgrounds and June 27 in Richland, Wisconsin, at Krouskop Park.

And we have January dates for the Funeral For A Friend / The Sleeping co-headline tour. Details include the 15th in Fort Lauderdale at Culture Room, the 17th in Orlando at The Social and NYC on the 22nd at the Fillmore New York At Irving Plaza. Other towns added to the schedule include Philadelphia, Asbury Park, Montreal and Toronto.

During the past couple of hours we gorged ourselves on chocolate while updating the schedules for Gibson Brothers, Cafe Tacuba, Clint Black, Cowboy Troy, Hanzel Und Gretyl, Jason MacIsaac, Joe Sample, Kids Like Us, Lagwagon, Life Of Agony, Lynn Anderson, Randy Crawford, The Flatliners, The Real McKenzies, Thunder and Zac Brown Band.

Hey! Where ya going? We still have two more hours of valuable research time and about 2 kilos of raw concert data in need of scrubbing, rubbing, dubbing and clubbing. Don’t miss your last update of the day – The Closing Bell – popping up around 5 pm (PDT).