Darius Rucker has released a lot of great music, both as the front man of Hootie and the Blowfish and as a solo country artist. But in a new interview he sings the praises of his upcoming third solo album, calling it “the best record I’ve ever made.”

Rucker has a lot to top. His current album, ‘Charleston, SC 1966,’ spawned the No. 1 singles ‘Come Back Song’ and ‘This.’ He will release ‘True Believer,’ the first single from his new album, in a few weeks, with the record slated for a fall release. The singer-songwriter tells Billboard that his new material has gone in a slightly different direction.

“We just finished the vocal for the single, and I’m excited,” he says. “I think this is the best record I’ve ever made, and I can’t stop listening to it. On ‘Charleston, SC 1966′ we just wanted to pick up where we left off, but with the new album, [producer] Frank Rogers and I wanted it to sound a little different.”

Rucker went into the recording sessions with the intention of proving his staying power. “I’m going to try to make the best record I’ve made yet. That’s my goal,” he told Taste of Country last December. “With this record, I want country music to say, ‘Hey, he can stay,’ you know what I mean? The first record was ‘Welcome!’ The next record was ‘OK — that’s great.’ But I want them to now say ‘OK. He can stay.’”

The upcoming record also features Rucker’s version of  Old Crow Medicine Show’s ‘Wagon Wheel.’ The cut features backing vocals by Lady Antebellum. “I was on tour with Lady Antebellum at the time, and they came in and sang on it,” Rucker says. “They took it to a whole new level, because it went from being the last song on the record to a possible single.”