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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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Five New Stars Of Country Music – Is Your Favorite One?

Posted on 01 November 2012 by Bill West

Longtime country music fans remember the day when the songs were traditional and the big names were super familiar. It changes with the time. In 1989 there was a new “class” that launched a NEW COUNTRY movement. Names like Clint Black, Alan Jackson, Garth Brooks, Travis Tritt, and Mary Chapin Carpenter were all breakthrough artists that year. Interestingly it was they year one of our new leaders, Taylor Swift, was born.

Now, almost like the circle of life, country music is ushering in a new class of stars. These days the genre is casting away stars like Alan Jackson and George Strait to make room for these new names.

Lately radio play and country song single sales have been all bout five newbies. Taylor Swift, Zac Brown, Eric Church, Lady Antebellum, and Jason Aldean.

Jason Aldean is on top of the mountain as a male vocalist with new country songs spiking to number one at radio and online with downloads and album sales. His 2012 album “Night Train” surprised critics with another instant jump to number one on the all genres Billboard Top 200. His ascent to the pinnacle was clinched with his signature song “Dirt Road Anthem” that blended a modern rap vibe with real country lyrics. His latest releases promise rabid fans that there’s more to come.

Taylor Swift is a somewhat polarizing leader in the new team. Her country songs are undeniably pop leaning, but over one million albums sold in one week (she’s achieved those sales twice) can not be ignored. She is, in fact, bigger than country music now. Still she carries the torch for the country genre and is almost always introduced as a COUNTRY superstar. Swift hit her pinnacle with her most country sounding song so far. The fan favorite “Mean.” It’s hard to tell just how high her star will rise but there’s now doubt she is a good influence for younger fans.

Lady Antebellum is a trio primarily from Georgia (like Aldean). They launched in 2006 with a self titled album and have not slowed down since. The trio broke through to mainstream audiences with the powerful ballad “Need You Now.” That went on to garner pop and mainstream airplay. Three members Hillary Scott, Dave Haywood, and Charles Kelly (brother to singer Josh Kelly) came up with the unique name after noting some of their early press photos had a very “antebellum” feel. Fans often shorten the name to just “Lady A.”

The Zac Brown Band is another game changing group. Lead singer Zac Brown (again, from Georgia) set the table for early success by building a strong jam band following in smaller clubs in the South East. Shortly after number one airplay of “Chicken Fried” they were playing arenas, then stadiums and creating their own music festivals. The unconventional and organic approach struck a chord with all music fans winning them a Grammy Award for best new artist and a non stop string of number one songs.   The ZBB album “Uncaged” was one of the groups strongest sets to date.

Eric Church is perhaps the freshest face in this line up. After years of struggling to get significant airplay he has seemed to lock into his fan base and his sound. He built his base of followers with dynamic live shows and party songs like “Smoke A Little Smoke.” Watch for mainstream music industry and critics to really start to pay attention to Church as his concert tickets continue to sell out (and bigger rooms keep filling) and his album sales sell more and more. Church’s sound (with help from “Pontoon” producer Jay Joyce) has a gritty experimental vibe to it but his vocal twang is almost as country as Willie Nelson.

A few that almost made the list include Blake Shelton (starting to peak with Network TV exposure), Miranda Lambert, Scotty McCreery (radio has not caught up to his massive record sales and fan base yet) and Hootie front man Darius Rucker. These new voices are leading the way to a new country revolution.

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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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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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Country Thunder Schedule Set For 2011

Posted on 19 November 2010 by Bill West

Lady Antebellum

The country mega concert in Twin Lakes  Wisconsin – Country Thunder – one of country music’s premiere festival events is back with a bang, bringing some of today’s hottest artists out for the 2011 line-up.   Kicking off the festival on Thursday, is 2010 CMA “Vocal Group of the Year” Lady Antebellum, who is sure to get the crowd going with their 2010 CMA Single of the Year, “Need You Now“. Newly crowned CMA “New Artist of the Year” Zac Brown Band won’t want to be missed on Friday as they takes over the stage to perform their numerous #1 hits. Bringing her beauty and talented vocal skill, 4 time CMA “Female Vocalist of the Year” Martina McBride hits the stage on Saturday night. Last but absolutely not the least country music’s most awarded group of the decade, Rascal Flatts, will close out the festival ending 4-days of a musical extravaganza. Country Thunder guarantees to bring just what fans deserve, a festival experience like no other!

Taking place July 21-24, 2011, music fans can cowboy-up for a full 4-day general admission pass for the sweet price of only $99.00. That’s less than a hundred bucks for four hot headliners and a full weekend of amazing country music. VIP and sponsorship packages are also available with added perks including hospitality tent access, preferred parking, and premium concert seating.

For the thousands of new and returning fans of Country Thunder, several tent and campsite options are available, offering primitive rugged to rustic and modern amenities. Check out our new website for all the information!

The announced line-up includes:

Thursday, July 21st
Music begins at 5:30 pm
Lady Antebellum

Friday, July 22nd
Music begins at 1:00 pm
Zac Brown Band

Saturday, July 23rd
Music begins at 1:00 pm
Martina McBride

Sunday, July 24th
Music begins at 1:00 pm
Rascal Flatts

More artists will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets and additional information available online:
Media wishing credentials will be required to get clearance through Country Thunder’s Publicity reps in Nashville, Tennessee.

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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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Zac and Alan New Video

Posted on 12 September 2010 by editor

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Jummy Buffett Oil Concert

Posted on 21 June 2010 by editor


Free Concert Set For CMT

update:The 90-minute CMT Presents Jimmy Buffett & Friends: Live From The Gulf Coast, originally scheduled for Thursday, July 1st has now been rescheduled to air live and commercial-free on Sunday, July 11th at 7PM Eastern time on CMT. Special guests are yet to be determined.  Performances will be simulcast live on Radio Margaritaville, available on Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, all CMT Radio Network affiliates, and streamed live on

Jimmy Buffett has been seen on the news lately reacting to the Gulf Oil Spill. Now he’s responding with music and his pals Zac Brown and Kenny Chesney are playing along with a free concert on the Alabama coast to show support for the Gulf region.

The Alabama tourism department says the show will be July 1 on the beach at Gulf Shores.

Buffett’s website says the concert is meant to demonstrate support for the people, businesses and culture of the Gulf Coast. It will be broadcast live on CMT.

Buffett (who has a and his Coral Reefer Band will be joined in Gulf Shores by Sonny Landreth, Kenny Chesney,Zac Brown (who crossed roads with Jimmy recently)  Band, Jesse Winchester and Allen Toussaint.

In a new benefit twist a special Tshirt will be designed for the concert. It will be available online and at the show.

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Zac BB HWY 20

Posted on 07 January 2010 by editor

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Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffett Cross CMT

Posted on 20 November 2009 by editor

Zac Brown has had an explosive debut with “The Foundattion” and that’s an interesting fact because he’s about to pair up with a musical legend that hasn’t really had the same radio success.

Jimmy Buffett and the Zac Brown Band are the next pairing on CMT Crossroads. The special will tape before an invitation-only audience next month in Nashville, to premiere in March 2010.

Zac Brown

Zac Brown

Brown has been compared to a mash-up of Buffett and James Taylor… so this could shape up to be the most compelling (thanks Zac) and most mass appeal (Buffett) crossroads yet. Way to go CMT.

Past Crossroads specials included Taylor Swift with Def Leppard and John Mellencamp and Kenny Chesney.

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