Famed Hootie Drummer and an ever-evolving solo act in his own right, Jim Sonefeld, is gearing up for the release of his fourth faith-based EP next month. Remember Tomorrow will be shared with Soni fans on July 22, giving them his first solo EP since Love in 2015.
The EP comes on the heels of the latest Hootie and the Blowfish record, Imperfect Circle, which saw the band welcome long-time fans back into the fold after a fifteen-year hiatus. Across the record are moments of classic Hootie Nostalgia with Darius Rucker’s unaging baritone at the forefront.
Remember Tomorrow compiles six songs from the long list of material Sonefeld had written while working on Hootie’s comeback, which seemed to fit better with his own personal mantra.
“Often after a big project, I have a smaller project that asserts itself,” Sonefeld tells American Songwriter. “So this kind of came at the tail end of making our most recent Hootie record called Imperfect Circle. I had a lot of other material and some were probably less appropriate for a Hootie record and some of the more worship-style stuff.”
He continues, “At the end of the project, my sort of spiritual wellspring always turns on strong. And I’ve got all these ideas. But with COVID, of course, everything slowed down a little bit, too. So it ended up being a long drawn out project, though only six songs.”
The lead single for the EP, “Bow To Him” was released back in March. The track is a powerful testament to Sonefeld’s journey in faith after years of drug addiction and alcoholism. The rest of the EP tackles a similar theme while taking solace in a new support system—love.
One of the shining moments on the EP, which celebrates love quite nicely, is a delicate piano ballad titled “I See Heaven on Earth.” Touching on everyday acts of love from those around him, Sonefeld praises the “kindness and tenderness” he sees on a daily basis.
“Throughout the pandemic, it continued to be a message that I needed to stick close to which was there are heavenly people, acts, and principles available here on Earth,” he says. “By that I mean, peace, love and kindness and tenderness and wholeness. I see those things around on a daily basis.
“I wanted to make a statement that said, ‘I’m not going to let the bad in the world drive me and devour me,” he adds. “If you sit in front of a computer or television screen for more than 10 minutes, you think the world was coming to an end by noon. I wanted to say, ‘don’t fall into that hole.’
“I didn’t want to sound preachy, but I did want to say it loud and clear that I see the good here on Earth. I’m gonna continue to see it even through battles, wars and heartache,” he explains.
One of the only songs Sonefeld did not write for the record is a cover of a Radney Foster track, “A Little Revival.”
“My whole family listened to it for years,” he says of the song. “The more I sat down at my piano and continued playing that song, it got slower and slower until it was like a swaying—having a more gospel vibe to it.
“I think the choir adds to the whole idea that we can have a revival here,” he continues. “People can celebrate rebirth—we can celebrate something wonderful and positive. I wanted to have a little bit of a swing party feel.”
Though the EP takes a firm stance on the Hootie drummer’s devotion, Sonefeld says his faith is “fluid.”
“I’ve always been one of those people that I don’t let the doubts get in the way of my faith. I have many questions and I continue to even as a man in his mid-50s.
“I have questions about religion and theology,” he shares. “ I have fewer questions about the act of love that Jesus left us. So I have great confidence that that is a message I can live with every day, but a lot of the other stuff is cumbersome. So I try and try and rest on things I do feel like I have a stronger grip on—love.
“All the songs on this album are rooted in the idea of love,” he says.
Along with the EP, Sonefeld has shared a new memoir, Swimming with the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing and One Hell of a Ride, today (June 28), giving fans the ultimate front-row seat to Hootie’s rise to fame in the mid-’90s. It also goes further into his own journey from addiction to recovery.
“My main goal for the memoir was to try and give fans out there a little picture behind the scenes,” he says. “For them to see what it looks like when you’re one of the four members who got to live that period from the late ’80s to the mid-’90s. What it was like to be standing in the room as we wrote songs, or as we were driving around in a van and got our first record deal.
“It’s also a story of transformation,” he adds. “What happens when you are one of those people, and you end up coming down the backside of fame and fortune, there can be some suffering. I think my being honest with myself and writing it down for others to read might help a few people out there that are searching for something higher, or searching for something better in their life than they’ve had before.”
Purchase Sonefeld’s new memoir, Swimming with the Blowfish: Hootie, Healing and One Hell of a Ride, HERE.
Photo Courtesy of Wortman Works