Darius Rucker guitarist wears “Not Suck” shirt during Wolf Trap concert

Darius Ruckerbest known for his time as the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish, performed at the Wolf Trap on Saturday night and sang songs from his successful solo country career and rock past.

The show was particularly memorable for some of the local hockey fans in attendance, as the concert featured a tribute to Alex Ovechkin – although you have to look closely to find it.

Rucker’s band guitarist wore a We’re not going to suck this year shirt – the mantra behind Ovechkin’s first championship of 2018.

Several readers sent us photos during the broadcast, illuminating our mentions during what is usually a very slow Labor Day weekend.

So who is this mysterious man playing dobro?

The musician is Alexander “Sasha” Ostrovsky and he was born at – wait for him — Obninsk, Russia. In fact, Ostrovsky and his band, Bering Strait, are the first non-classical Russian artists to be nominated for a Grammy (Best Country Instrumental Performance2003) according to Ostrovsky’s website biography.

After their initial success, the band moved to Nashville, TN, where an Ostrovsky network became involved in multiple side projects both in the studio and on the road. In 2006, the Bering Strait dissolved and Ostrovsky, who had been playing slide instruments such as the dobro, steel guitar and lap steel since he was 13, began working with artists like Keith Urban, Pat Green, Sugarland, James Otto and Lady Antebellum. . Currently, Ostrovsky is on tour with Darius Rucker, which he has been doing for several years.

But I still had so many questions. Was Ostrovsky a Capitals fan? Does he like hockey? So I contacted the band to see if I could figure out the story behind the shirt. Ostrovsky actually answered!

“To be honest, I didn’t know much about it when I bought it,” Ostrovsky said. “I was browsing social media late at night after a show. I knew it was hockey related and it sounded like something a Russian with a “not so perfect” knowledge of English would say. It made me laugh so much that I had to understand. I’m Russian, I love hockey and after the year we’ve had (2020) I thought it would make perfect sense for me to wear.

Ostrovsky then asked my forgiveness.

“I’m a die-hard Preds fan and really enjoyed their solid win over the Caps at Bridgestone Arena just before COVID,” he said with a laugh. “At the same time, I’m a big fan of Ovi and the Caps. I really enjoy watching the Russian trio at work. They are definitely my number two team and unless they’re playing the Preds.

After talking about the Filip Forsberg trade, Ostrovsky said it was only recently that he learned the quote on the shirt was Ovechkin’s and said defiantly during training camp when the reporters asked if the Capitals’ championship window was closed. “We’re not going to suck this year,” Ovechkin replied. Nine months later, Ovechkin had the final laugh, ending Washington’s championship parade with the citation.

“Last week someone in the DC area pointed out the meaning of your shirt, and then it made even more sense,” Ostrovsky said. “So I had to wear it to the Wolf Trap!”

Ostrovsky’s show was particularly memorable as it marked two highly successful decades in the United States for the musician.

Via his Instagram:

Some memories today… 20 years ago I played my first big show in America here @wolf_trap with my band Bering Strait, opening for Trisha Yearwood. The greatest show of my life at the time. They even ended up in the documentary they made about us… 20 years later, still going 😎 Making fantastic new memories tonight… This place is awesome

As we finished our conversation, Ostrovsky repeated, “I to like the shirt,” and told me to reach out if I came back to Nashville. The Caps will face the Predators in Tennessee on Saturday, April 2.

I’m just saying.

Elizabeth J. Harless