• strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/easymone/subdomains/twangwire.com/modules/views/views.module on line 906.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/easymone/subdomains/twangwire.com/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 744.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/easymone/subdomains/twangwire.com/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/easymone/subdomains/twangwire.com/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 607.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/easymone/subdomains/twangwire.com/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 159.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/easymone/subdomains/twangwire.com/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 24.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/easymone/subdomains/twangwire.com/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/easymone/subdomains/twangwire.com/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 134.

Zac Brown Band Looking To Repeat 2010

Every once in a while I'll find a story that is worthy of sharing in its entirety. Recently Brian Mansfield, at USA Today published a special on the Zac Brown Band. The band shares how it felt to win the Grammy for new artist in 2010, collaborating with other artists, plans to feed their fans at shows, and why they'd like a repeat Grammy win.

To read the story in its entirety be sure and visit USAtoday.com.

NASHVILLE — For the Zac Brown Band's Chris Fryar, the magnitude of winning a new-artist Grammy last year came during the acceptance speech, when he looked into the Staples Center audience in Los Angeles and saw one of the category's previous winners.

"We were standing up there, thanking everybody that we had to thank, and I looked down at Ringo Starr sitting in the front row," says the drummer for the Georgia-based band. "He's won a best-new-artist Grammy, and there we were accepting one. It was a trip."

Since winning that award last January Brown, 32; Fryar, 40; and the band's four other musicians — guitarist Coy Bowles, 31; multi-instrumentalist Clay Cook, 32; fiddle player Jimmy De Martini, 34; and bassist John Driskell Hopkins, 39 — have gone about showing just how much they deserved the accolade.

The band, which combines elements of country music, Southern rock and jam bands — and appeals to fans of all three — topped USA TODAY's Country airplay chart three times last year, with Highway 20 Ride, Free and (with Alan Jackson) As She's Walking Away.

"They have laid a tremendous foundation and gained quick acceptance with the audience," says Mike Moore, program director for country station KWJJ-FM in Portland, Ore. "That's a testament to hit songs, unbelievable live shows and musicianship."

Nielsen SoundScan ranked them as 2010's ninth-best-selling act. The band placed three releases — 2008's The Foundation, the new You Get What You Give and the live Pass the Jar — among SoundScan's 200 top-selling albums of 2010, putting them in the ranks of Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, Lady Antebellum, Lil Wayne, Michael Jackson and the cast of Glee.

This year, the group is up for four more Grammys, with nominations in the country field for song, album, vocal performance and collaboration.

But the Zac Brown Band isn't your traditional country group.

"We're here to gather music lovers," says Brown, whose ever-present stocking caps are perhaps the most distinctive piece of headgear for any country singer in decades.

"I don't know why everybody wants to put everything in a box. It's almost like profiling."

Country collaborators

If you want to define the Zac Brown Band musically, you'd be better off looking at their collaborators: Jackson and Jimmy Buffett appear on the group's latest album; Brown guests on Kid Rock's Born Free album; and they've performed on the Country Music Association awards show with Charlie Daniels and on the Grammys with Leon Russell.

"We don't play with people that we don't like to play with," says Fryar, shortly before a recent Nashville show that featured guest appearances from three of the city's most respected musical figures: Jackson, singer/songwriter Mac McAnally and Dobro player Jerry Douglas.

Even with their ever-broadening musical reach, the group has become one of country radio's most reliable hit-makers, with six consecutive No. 1 singles, stretching back to 2008's Chicken Fried. (A seventh single, Colder Weather, is climbing the charts.)

More established country acts have also embraced them warmly. They'll co-headline a tour with Kenny Chesney in stadiums this summer. And before the Nashville show, Jackson gave Brown a 1966 Cadillac Eldorado convertible. The vintage car was Jackson's way of thanking Brown for asking him to sing on As She's Walking Away.

"He was nice to include me on that," Jackson says of his fellow Georgian. "He's a pretty good fellow, and I just wanted to do something for him."

Brown feels that he and his band have found a home in country music. "As long as we have four or five songs on every record that can live on country radio, we don't plan on going anywhere."

Though the band's sound differs from other country acts, Moore says it's one that's familiar to the country audience.

"To me, it's reminiscent of James Taylor, who is someone that a lot of folks who love this format grew up with," Moore says. "It sometimes has a Jimmy Buffett feel, but it's very acceptable within what we define as 'country music.' "

Country may comprise the core of the group's commercial base, but when it comes to live performances, Brown says, "We plan on going out and conquering every music lover we can find."

The band's shows are four-hour extravaganzas full of hits, extended solos and cover tunes from a catalog that ranges from Charlie Daniels to Bob Marley to Van Morrison. They also usually include appearances by acts on Brown's Southern Ground Records roster, like roots duo the Wood Brothers and Atlanta singer/songwriter Sonia Leigh.

Nourishing the fans

Brown has plans to make the concert experience last even longer.

"We eventually want to roll in and feed everybody," says the onetime restaurateur.

The band travels with a customized 53-foot cooking trailer, like a food truck on steroids. Before a show, the band members may host a pre-show eat 'n' greet for 200 to 250 fans, friends and local VIPs.

Brown harbors ambitious plans to take over all concessions at the venues where they play, using a fleet of such tractor-trailer kitchens to offer high-end dinners — featuring Brown recipes like pocketknife slaw, beef filet with Georgia clay rub and pork tenderloin with "love sauce" — and even tailgate packages.

"Ninety percent of the people who come to a show go out to dinner, too," says chef Rusty Hamlin, whose 10-person crew fixes 640 meals a day on the road. "Why not bring it all together?"

The band greets all the diners as though in a receiving line at a wedding, then sits down and joins them for dinner.

"The idea is to make the concert experience full-sensory and to make everyone really feel like they got their money's worth," Brown says.

The band is currently off the road, and Brown's wife is expecting a daughter the week before the Feb. 13 Grammys.

Brown hopes for a repeat of last year's success, but not so he can add to his own trophy collection.

"I'm excited for Clay (Cook) to get a Grammy," Brown says, referring to the group's newest member, who joined in 2009 after writing songs for John Mayer and playing in a version of the Marshall Tucker Band. Cook wasn't credited on The Foundation and so didn't receive one of last year's Grammys.

The group will hit the concert trail again in March, playing Chesney's stadium shows and headlining their own tour.

"We love to play," Brown says, "whether it's for 50 people or 15,000. If there's people we need to win over, we bring them in, play for them, feed them."

Source: http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2011-01-19-zacbrown19_CV_N.htm

Share this
barbed wire

Get Social

We feed all of our story titles and links to Twitter and Facebook so you can keep up with all of your favorite artists simply and easily! Please add us and tell a friend!


Are You Excited About Garth Touring Again In A Few Years?:

Please Visit Our Sponsors

Twangwire Comments

The Latest From Twitter

  • Jack Ingram: Gonna be seeing a lot of these over the next month or so...heading out on The Acoustic Motel Tour. I like motels. http://t.co/KTsKWlXq
    view tweet (3 years 41 weeks ago)

  • Taylor Swift: I Knew You Were Trouble comes out tonight at midnight. Ready to hear more about my romantic misadventures????
    view tweet (3 years 41 weeks ago)

  • SHeDAISY: It's so fun rehearsing with the sisters. Always a race to whom I'd like to choke first. #sayitwithlove
    view tweet (3 years 41 weeks ago)

  • Brad Paisley: I got to call CMA radio stations&DJs of the year today &tell em they won.A few of em thought it was a prank. Now I wouldn't do that,would I?
    view tweet (3 years 41 weeks ago)

  • Julianne Hough: You have got to watch my sweet niece Arianna rap this beastie boys song! FYI she's 2 http://t.co/r8dfPSEJ
    view tweet (3 years 41 weeks ago)

  • SHeDAISY: GC 2012 :)
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Miranda Lambert: Home. I made it. Been on the road since Jan. Thx to every person who came to see a show this year. It means the world! See ya in 2013!:)
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Martina McBride: I love the fact that my husband calls his favorite aunt, aged 85 ..recently widowed ... each and every night just 2 check in #realman #cares
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Julianne Hough: With my 8 year Old Nephew Aidan at his paintball birthday party! Coolest kid I know! :) http://t.co/X7b38zD0
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Martina McBride: Salmanaca,NY was so much fun. So many requests from the crowd! Loved it. Sorry we didn't get 2 all of them. Casino had a 75 minute cap 2nite
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Taylor Swift: I feel like I'd be more understood if people knew 'I Don't Want to Miss a Thing' by Aerosmith is how most of my emotions sound in my head.
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Martina McBride: Operator by Jim Croce...I'm just sayin.....
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Martina McBride: Lancaster, PA....loved being with you! And meeting so many of you outside after the show. See ya next time!
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Brad Paisley: 'Online' in Columbus, OH http://t.co/fO7cCrgV
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Martina McBride: I've had better hair days...
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Taylor Swift: My glitter nail polish says 'party' but my sweat pants/bun on top of head ensemble say 'room service and journaling my feelings'.
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Martina McBride: I’m happy to partner this fall with #SaveLids to help a cause close to my heart: #breastcancer. Join the fight! http://t.co/b6KuB5SM
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Brad Paisley: So you turkeys can get the words right when you sing along,we just put up a Lyric Video: http://t.co/nsmfnGnD & iTunes: http://t.co/C7lZ0Dwa
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Taylor Swift: I might be sleep walking. I'm definitely sleep walking.
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

  • Taylor Swift: Waiting to start an interview. Eating candy. Watching MTV. http://t.co/8mRDKZJF
    view tweet (3 years 42 weeks ago)

Follow Twangwire on Twitter