Zac Brown Band

  • Country music band formed in 2002 from Dahlonega Georgia. Members are Zac Brown (lead vocals, guitar, banjo, bass guitar), Jimmy De Martini (fiddle, guitar, mandolin, backing vocals), John Driscoll Hopkins (bass guitar, backing vocals), Coy Bowles (guitar, keyboards), Chris Fryar (drums), Clay Cook (guitar, keyboards, mandolin, steel guitar, vocals), Matt Mangano (bass guitar) and Daniel de los Reyes (percussion).
  • Brown was given his mother’s guitar at the age of 8, and he took classical guitar lessons for 2 years. He soon developed a love of bluegrass music. As a teenager, he took vocal lessons, and he began to play in local venues, singing country and pop cover songs. At 19, he was touring in the Southeast with a drummer and his dog.
  • In 2002, he was playing 200 dates a year. At that time, the Zac Brown band was only Brown on guitar, with a drummer and a bass guitarist. He produced an independent album, called Home Grown, in 2004. Also that year, he added De Martini to the band, an important addition. De Martini brought harmonies to the vocals, and his fiddle allowed for more of a country music sound.
  • The band continued to grow, with Hopkins joining in 2005, Bowles joining in 2007, Fryar joining in 2008, Cook in 2009, de los Reyes in 2012 and Mangano in 2014. With each addition, the band’s capabilities grew.
  • In 2008, they signed with a record company, and their debut major label studio album was released – The Foundation. The debut single, Chicken Fried, was originally on the Home Grown album. It was a huge success, peaking at #1 on the Country chart and selling over 5 million copies. The other singles also were dominant – Toes, Highway 20 Ride and Free hit #1 on the Country chart, and Whatever It Is made it to #2. All 4 also were top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The Zac Brown Band won the Grammy award in 2010 for Best New Artist due to the strength of the album.
  • SInce 2010, the band has released 4 more studio albums – You Get What You Give, Uncaged, Jekyll + Hyde, and most recently Welcome Home in May 2017. All 4 reached #1 on the Country album charts, and 3 of the 4 reached #1 on the Billboard 200 Album chart, with Welcome Home reaching #2. Nine singles have hit #1 on Country charts, including As She’s Walking Away, featuring Alan Jackson, and Knee Deep, featuring Jimmy Buffett. As She’s Walking Away earned them a Grammy win, and Uncaged won the Grammy for Best Country Album in 2013.
  • In 2015, the song Heavy Is the Head was released to rock radio rather than country radio. The song features Chris Cornell on vocals – Cornell was the frontman for Audioslave and Soundgarden who committed suicide earlier this year (see my “Gone Too Soon” post from May 24). The song reached #1 on the Mainstream Rock chart. It was used as the theme song for the 2015 Major League Baseball season.
  • Zac Brown Band has had 2 albums with 4 songs that reached #1 on Country charts. Only Alabama and the Judds have equaled that record.
  • Zac Brown Band has been a dominating country act for the last 10 years. Many of their most popular songs are about laying back and not worrying – this appeals to their fans, particularly in the summer months. Let’s watch their video for the song Toes, and enjoy the summer! “Life is good today!”

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