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Little Known Facts About The Zac Brown Band

Posted on 08 January 2013 by Bill West


Zac Brown October 2009

Some country music fans think the Zac Brown Band is and overnight success story.  The Little known fact is they they have been working hard for years to build a strong audience and were a successful traveling country folk rock band long before the breakthrough success of their signature song “Chicken Fried.”

His Albums The FoundationYou Get What You Give and Uncaged are top sellers but it took a while to get there.

Zac Brown has always called Georgia his home and  in 2002 Zac Brown put together his version of the band that quickly took on a touring schedule of about 200 dates a year.   Each year the band’s following grew thanks to dynamic jam band performances and a focus on true musicianship, solid song choices and dazzling live performance.

In 2003 he released a little know album called “Far From Einstyne” and followed it up with “Home Grown.”  Home Grown featured Chicken Fried and Whatever It Is.  Two songs that would later make it onto the album “The Foundation” and become major radio hits that continue to be played in heavy rotation to this day.

The band consists of Brown, Jimmy DeMartini, Coy Bowles, Daniel de los Reyes, John Driscoll Hopkins, and Clay Cook.   Cook was playing with the Marshall Tucker Band and collaborating with Shaun Mullins and John Mayer prior to joining Brown.  Another little known fact according to Wikipedia is that Cook was  an addition to the band after the release of Chicken Fried and that he and Brown actually attended and graduated High School together but were not acquainted then.

Zac Brown opened his own southern fried restaurant and music club called “Zac’s Place” with his father in 2004.  The joint, located in Lake Oconee, Georgia, was soon sold and Brown took the show on the road.   His food obsession is still woven into his material and products as he offers rubs, sauces and food items and highlights culinary delights as part of his current day “Southern Ground Music and Food Festivals” (in Charleston and Nashville).

Brown has also proven to be an entrepreneurial artist launching his own record label (Home Grown) in 2003 and released several independent small batch records under that name.  He has created Camp Souther Ground and has his own leather goods production.  Later the band got a strong start with mega concert promoter Live Nation when the company dabbled in artist “360” and label deals (larger names like Madonna were inked to deals worth upwards of 120 million over ten years).

The song “Chicken Fried” was originally released to country radio with some early success by the Lost Trailers (who later has the hit Holler Back).  In a controversial move Brown pulled the singles rights to the song because he planned to record and release on his own album.  The move proved to be a wise one as the song (his debut single) ascended to number one on the country radio charts in November of 2008.  It began a string of number ones for the band that made “The Foundation ” a smash and winning the Zac Brown Band a Grammy for Best New Artist in early 2010.

More recently Zac and the Band have branched out into more elaborate touring including a growing music and food festival that features on stage box seats and big name guest appearances.




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Zac Brown Band – Uncaged Album Review

Posted on 06 July 2012 by editor

zac brown band uncagedZac Brown Band steps out and dares to be different in many ways with the new album “Uncaged.”    Everything from the trippy album cover art to the daring song choices screams different.   But these guys have always been a bit differernt. Jumps right in with Jump right in… “Let the music pull you in” with samba and reggae influences it sounds un-country until about halfway thru when a fiddle mixes in.  It’s another brilliant example of the Band expanding the boundaries of what is a modern country sound.

The title track Uncaged breaks through with a blast of energetic southern rock.  Goodbye in her Eyes delivers the softer more mainstream side of Brown with a dependable dose of band harmony.  It’s a vibe that started with previous albums The Foundation and You Get What You Give.

Brown describes The Wind as a barn burner and it’s going to be a fantastic show live with all the intsrumental talents of the band challenged in the speed department.  Don’t miss the hysterical Mike Judge video.  Maybe too bluegrass for mainstream country fans but it’s likely to bend ears to it’s favor.  Island Song does the same for reggae steeped country while delivering the expected ZBB beach flavor.

Sweet Annie feels like a more radio friendly re-visit of Jolene (from the first album).  And Overnight delves into a surprising retro soul vibe that totally works.  Love the horns.

Fans may wonder  who is Lance from Lance’s song? Lance’s song is a somber tribute to Atlanta drummer Lance Tilton.   Tilton was killed in a crar crash in 2010.

  1. Jump Right In
  2. Uncaged
  3. Goodbye In Her Eyes
  4. The Wind
  5. Island Song
  6. Sweet Annie
  7. Natural Disaster
  8. Overnight (featuring Trombone Shorty)
  9. Lance’s Song
  10. Day That I Die (with Amos Lee)
  11. Last But Not Least
Uncaged is another sellar release from The Zac Brown Band with a wide swath of musical choices from every corner of the band’s talent treasure chest.

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Robo Redneck Zac Brown

Posted on 06 July 2012 by editor

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Knee Deep – Zac and Buffett Video

Posted on 01 July 2011 by editor

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Posted on 22 March 2011 by editor

Kenny Chesney’s “Gone Coastal!” After months of planning, preparation and anticipation, Corona Presents Kenny Chesney’s “Goin’ Coastal” Tour sailed into sunny Florida where the fans had been waiting a long time for a party that only Kenny Chesney can throw!

The tour opened on Thursday night in West Palm Beach, and The Palm Beach Post heralded Chesney’s performance as “Flawless,” and added, “Chesney holds thousands of fans in his spell. Everyone is absolutely focused on him for two solid hours of on-your-feet time.”

The show also included Chesney’s friend and duet partner Uncle Kracker on the #1 song, “When the Sun Goes Down” and singer Billy Currington who is enjoying his 4th consecutive # 1 single. Chesney also welcomed to the stage special guest reggae singer Mishka for Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds.”

The party in West Palm Beach also included friends of Chesney’s such as football legend Joe Namath, Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys, Mike Vrabel of the Kansas City Chiefs, Wes Welker and Matt Light of the New England Patriots and Steve Hutchinson of the Minnesota Vikings.

Chesney Live 2011

Saturday marked the first of 11 stadium shows when the tour cruised into Tampa Bay’s Raymond James Stadium. By 2:00 pm the parking lots around the stadium were overflowing with tailgaters partying to Chesney’s music, grilling and warming up to welcome Chesney back to the stadium where he hadn’t played since 2006.

When Chesney took the stage on Saturday night, the sold-out crowd of 50,548 went coastal! The two-plus hour set included many of his 21 #1 hits, from “How Forever Feels” (1999) to his latest #1 song, “Somewhere with You,” plus album cuts and classic songs. He also welcomed some special musical guests to join him, including a 30-minute jam with Zac Brown Band. In describing the Tampa concert, Sean Daly at the St. Petersburg Times wrote: “man, oh, man, did we need a day like this one and a concert like that one” while drawing comparisons between Chesney’s band, AC/DC, Alan Jackson, and U2.

The atmosphere was lively backstage, too, with lots of family and friends. Also on hand were New York Yankees Nick Swisher, Super Bowl winning and Monday Night Football commentator Jon Gruden, Philadelphia Phillies players Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt and Chase Utley, and former player John Smoltz.

The tour now sets the compass north for next weekend’s shows in Des Moines, IA (3/24); St. Paul, MN (3/25); and Omaha, NE (3/26). Chesney’s current album, Hemingway’s Whiskey, is nominated as Album of the Year from the Academy of Country Music, and it includes the current song, “Live a Little,” and the #1 singles “The Boys of Fall” and “Somewhere with You.”

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2011 Kenny Chesney Zac Brown Tour

Posted on 05 November 2010 by editor

Kenny Chesney made the announcement via nifty press release below that he will indeed embark on a mega tour this upcoming 2011 summer.    It looks to be a good thing for country music.

What no one saw coming is the fact that he has agreed to CO-Headline his stadium shows.   Zac Brown Band will be joining Kenny at a bunch of stadium shows that are sure to be hits.

It’s already arguable that either artist could fill these stadiums… or maybe with todays economy both camps need a bit more juice to fill stadiums.  Either way it’s great for the country fan with our biggest names and a show – they say- with tickets as low as $25 buck.

Official release below:

Kenny Chesney Announces First Concerts for 2011 “Goin’ Coastal Tour”

Chesney And Zac Brown Band To Share Stage on 9 Stadium Dates

Kenny Chesney’s “fans can count on his shows to be fun, fun, fun” (LA Times), and they can prepare to see “how deep this country megastar’s talent really runs” (Chicago Tribune) as Chesney announces the first leg of what will be his biggest tour in five years. After a hiatus from the road in 2010, the 4 time CMA and 4 time ACM Entertainer of the Year will take his “Goin’ Coastal Tour” to 9 stadiums next year. Chesney was the second biggest ticket seller of the decade and the only artist in any genre to sell over a million tickets for 8 consecutive summers.

Tickets for stadium dates in nine cities will go on sale starting November 20, with additional arena and amphitheatre dates to be announced later, with more dates than any Chesney tour since 2006. Chesney will co-headline the stadium dates with Zac Brown Band, GRAMMY’s “Best New Artist” in 2010 whose latest album ‘You Get What You Give’ debuted at #1 on the Billboard top 200. Multi-GRAMMY nominee Billy Currington has secured the highly coveted support slot powered by six No. 1 Billboard country singles and the success of his fourth and latest album ‘Enjoy Yourself.’  Uncle Kracker, who sang with Chesney on the #1 country hit “When The Sun Goes Down,” will open all the stadium dates except Foxboro, MA.

The man the Associated Press calls “among the hardest charging acts on the road” is already excited about returning to the stage. “We’re going to be playing new songs and lots of old favorites, and I can already tell it’s going to be a lot of fun,” says Chesney.  “I can’t wait to get back in front of my fans.”

“With four acts on the bill, we’ve created these shows as all-day events, and are working hard to make them affordable for our fans,” says tour promoter Louis Messina.  Chesney will make at least 7,000 tickets available at $25 at the majority of the stadium dates, with a whopping 13,922 for the March 19 Tampa show.

Chesney took a break from the road in 2010 to record his new album ‘Hemingway’s Whiskey’ (BNA Records), which entered the Billboard 200 at #1 (his sixth album to achieve that feat) and to produce “The Boys of Fall,” the documentary about high school football now available for pre-order and in Walmart beginning November 9. “I’ve always loved playing stadiums because I get to see so many of my fans at one time, but after everything I learned from the football heroes I met while making ‘The Boys of Fall,’ I’m seeing stadiums in a whole new way,” Chesney says.

Fans can buy tickets at’. The Kenny Chesney Official Fan Club will be offering presale tickets for all shows on Kenny’s 2011 Tour prior to the general public on-sale.

Kenny Chesney 2011 Tour (Stadium Dates Only – co-headline with Zac Brown Band)
Sat Mar 19  – Tampa, FL – Raymond James Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 11)
Sat Apr 16 – Dallas, TX – Cowboys Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat Jun 4 – Washington, DC – FedEx Field – (on sale Fri Dec 3)
Sat Jun 11 – Green Bay, WI – Lambeau Field (on sale Sat Dec 11)
Sat Jun 18 – Philadelphia, PA – Lincoln Financial Field (on sale Sat Nov 20)
Sat Jul 2 – Pittsburgh, PA – Heinz Field (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat Jul 30 – Kansas City, MO – Arrowhead Stadium (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat Aug 20 – Detroit, MI – (on sale Sat Dec 4)
Sat Aug 27- Foxboro, MA – Gillette Stadium (on sale Sat Nov 20)

The tour is billed as Corona Extra presents Kenny Chesney’s Goin’ Coastal Tour, starring Kenny Chesney and Zac Brown Band.

About Crown Imports LLC:
Corona Extra and Corona Light are imported by Crown Imports LLC, a joint venture that imports, distributes and markets the Modelo portfolio and other fine beer brands across the entire U.S.

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You Get What You Give – Zacs New CD

Posted on 19 September 2010 by editor

It’s been about three years since there’s been new music from Zac Brow.  In that time he’s banged out five breathtaking country songs that all went to number one.   He’s won a New Artist Grammy and most importantly he’s still selling a ton of copies of the Foundation.  In a market where album sales keep shrinking Zac Brown (with Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum) is about the only one in country selling anything.

This week  Zac Brown (he’s adamant about wanting the Band part in there) The Zac Brown Band releases it’s second studio album called “You Get What You Give” – named after one of Zac’s tattoos – not a song title.

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. “Let It Go” Zac Brown, Wyatt Durrette 4:37
2. “Knee Deep” (featuring Jimmy Buffett) 3:23
3. “No Hurry” 3:46
4. “I Play the Road” 4:19
5. “Cold Hearted” 3:47
6. “Whiskey’s Gone” Brown, Durrette 2:46
7. “Quiet Your Mind” 3:40
8. “Colder Weather” Brown, Durrette 4:33
9. “Settle Me Down” 3:21
10. “As She’s Walking Away” with Alan Jackson Coy Bowles, Brown, Durrette, Levi Lowery 3:43
11. “Keep Me In Mind” 3:34
12. “Who Knows” Brown, Joel Williams 10:02
13. “Martin” 5:06
14. “Make This Day” Brown, Nic Cowan, Durrette, Cee-Lo Green 4:02

The new songs are another blend of songs that remind some of Garth Brook’s soaring lyrics and hard core regular guy-ness.  It’s worth the price of the cd just to hear him change lines on the fun “Knee Deep” with Jimmy Buffett or with felow Georgia hero Alan Jackson on the hit lead single “As She’s Walking Away” – a slam dunk at country radio where it may just revive Jackson’s fading stature.

In the past months Brown has touted the thisnks the new collection is even BETTER thann the Foundation – a tall order – but at first listen he may be right.

“You Get What You Give” is sure to satisfy fans that have been starving for something NEW from the newest of the music superstars and this album gives them lots to chew on.  Expect jaw dropping first week sales number achieved the old fasion way.

Lets just hope we don’thave to wait another three years for more.

Grade: A

Download: I Play The Road – a raucos yet bittersweet

Link to Zac on iTunes

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Swift Underwood CMA Snub – 2010 Nominees

Posted on 31 August 2010 by editor

The 44th Annual CMA Awards were announced by Justin Moore and Chris Young at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium. The rest of the nominations were announced this morning (in red).  The winners will be revealed during the CMA Awards telecast airing on ABC-TV Wednesday, Nov. 10 8-11pm ET. 

Entertainer Of The Year

Male Vocalist Of The Year
Female Vocalist Of The Year
Album Of The Year (Award goes to Artist and Producer)
“Revolution” by MIRANDA LAMBERT
“Up On the Ridge” by DIERKS BENTLEY 
Musical Event Of The Year (Award goes to each Artist)
“Can’t You See” ZAC BROWN BAND featuring KID ROCK
“Hillbilly Bone” BLAKE SHELTON featuring TRACE ADKINS

• “A Little More Country Than That,”Easton Corbin
• “Need You Now,”Lady Antebellum
• “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert
• “Toes,” Zac Brown Band
• “White Liar,” Miranda Lambert 

• “A Little More Country Than That,” Easton Corbin
• “Hillbilly Bone,” Blake Shelton f/Trace Adkins
• “Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum
• “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert
• “White Liar,” Miranda Lambert 

• “Hillbilly Bone,” Blake Shelton f/Trace Adkins
• “Need You Now,” Lady Antebellum
• “The House That Built Me,” Miranda Lambert
• “Water,” Brad Paisley
• “White Liar,” Miranda Lambert 

• Paul Franklin
• Dann Huff
• Brent Mason
• Mac McAnally
• Randy Scruggs 

New Artist
• Luke Bryan
• Easton Corbin
• Jerrod Niemann
• Chris Young
• Zac Brown Band 

• Brooks & Dunn
• Joey+Rory
• Montgomery Gentry
• Steel Magnolia
• Sugarland 

• Lady Antebellum
• Little Big Town
• Rascal Flatts
• The Band Perry
• Zac Brown Band 

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Zac Brown Margaritaville

Posted on 07 March 2010 by editor

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Country Music Awards 2009 Review

Posted on 11 November 2009 by Bill West

No doubt it was Taylor Swift’s night at the 2009 CMA Awards as she took home the biggest award plus two other top honors.   Swift became the youngest ENTERTAINER OF THE YEAR in CMA history (she’s 19).   She also won Album of the Year for “Fearless“, and Female Vocalist of The Year.    “I’d like to thank everyone in this room for not rushing up on stage” she quipped in her heartfelt and eloquent acceptance speech.   It was also touching to see her parents in tears in the the front row.   They should be proud.

Swift’s victories along with surprise wins from Lady Antebellum (Flatts are now left to do Wendy’s commercials?!) and Darius Rucker’s new artist win (great speech) signals a seismic shift in Country Music.  Is it the class of 2009?  It may be too early to tell but with the “departure” of Brooks and Dunn it feels a bit different.   Are things leaning too pop?  Can’t stop change.

The other surprise of the evening was, perhaps, that Zac Brown walked away empty handed after the best musical performance of the night.

Overall the best awards show in decades.

Other winners:

Musical Event – Paisley / Urban “Start a Band”

Male Vocalist – Brad Paisley

Song Of The Year – Jamey Johnson “In Color”

Single Of The Year – Lady Antebellum “I Run To You”

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