Sunday, 8 March, 2009 12:42 PM
CMA New Artist Spotlight: Zac
by C. Taylor Crothers
recording artists Zac Brown Band
2009 CMA Close Up News Service
On one wall in the Zac
Brown Band's rehearsal space, there's a whiteboard covered with
details of their many upcoming gigs. On another, the group has scrawled
the titles of their favorite songs between a Bob Marley banner and
framed pictures of Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson.
This décor mirrors
the band's work ethic and reverence for Country, cooled by an occasional
tropical breeze. Those musical influences ring throughout "Toes,"
which opens The Foundation, produced by Keith Stegall and Brown
and released on Atlantic Records/Home Grown/Big Picture. The laid-back
vibe, gently ticking drums and Tex-Mex flavor of the choruses says
that these guys know what the good life is and where to find it.
But that's just where
it starts for Brown, a deft guitarist and expressive singer, guitarist/organist
Coy Bowles, multi-instrumentalist Clay Cook, fiddler Jimmy De Martini,
drummer Chris Fryar and bassist John Driskell Hopkins.
Elements of bluegrass,
gospel and Southern rock take their turn on all 12 tracks, 11 written
or co-written by band members. For example, their first single,
"Chicken Fried," penned by Brown and Wyatt Durrette, extols
the "sweet tea, pecan pie and homemade wine" back home
in Georgia with a nostalgia that would coax even a Northerner to
After performing extensively
as a solo artist, Brown assembled his band in Atlanta and took them
on a trip that's led them to open for B. B. King, Lynyrd Skynyrd,
Sugarland and Travis Tritt, among others. For all the mileage they've
charted on that whiteboard, it only hints at where they're going
CD IN YOUR STEREO
"Gossip in the Grain, by Ray LaMontagne."
FAVORITE FOOD ON
"The necklace that my wife made for me."
DREAM DUET PARTNER
SOMETHING WE'D NEVER
GUESS ABOUT YOU
"I barter and trade a lot. I trade guitars and tools on Craigslist,
I traded a VW bus for a Scout and dump truck and I once traded a
Jeep for two guitars and an amplifier."
WHAT YOU'D BE IF
YOU WEREN'T AN ARTIST
"A chef or a knife maker."
"A hybrid of rock, soul, Country, bluegrass and reggae."
"Zac Brown Band is from the Atlanta, Ga. area."
(ANSWERS PROVIDED BY
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