ZAC BROWN BAND > The Foundation

Written by March 1st, 2009 at 6:35 pm

Label: (ATLANTIC/HOME GROWN/BIG PICTURE)

Rating: ★★★★☆

Atlanta sextet Zac Brown Band walks country music’s fine line between commercial accessibility and artistic authenticity from the onset of the group’s debut national release, The Foundation, which opens with “Toes,” a peppy piece of Chesney-inspired beach escapism that finds lead singer Brown planting his ass in the sand while he rolls up a big fat one. The Foundation melds capable takes on various staple country themes (lead single “Chicken Fried” hits on all the typical notes, from rural living to patriotism to “Cold beer on a Friday night”) with a gripping cover of Ray LaMontagne’s cocaine-flamed “Jolene” and a pair of deliriously fresh barn-burners, including the appropriately-plucked “Sic ‘Em On A Chicken,” and “It’s Not OK,” a fiddle-driven recitation that, although stylistically derivative of Charlie Daniels, showcases gritty wit and an engrossing delivery by bassist John Hopkins, whose voice, full of gravitas, roars like a grizzly bear.

  • Janetmojo

    Just wanted to say this is one of the most enjoyable albums I have bought in years-check it out! We saw them open for Sugarland last year and have been in love ever since!
    Janet in Atlanta

  • NateMalo

    Zac Brown Band is the most amazing band of recent memory. These guys are just like “everyday Joe” and his family. They sing about the things that matter while keeping us entertained. The first time we saw them in Asheville, NC we were hooked. We traveled to Athens, GA and are going to Virginia Beach, VA in May and Raleigh, NC in May as well. Keep up the great music and GREAT JOB!!!!

  • Greg McGee

    This is an awesome CD, I love every song! I have been following them for about 2 years, and they deserve all the recognition they are getting, If you get a chance to see them live do so before they start playing stadiums and arenas, because its only a matter of time!

  • matthew Brenner

    Wyatt Durrette is an old friend, could not be happier for him and ZBB….wish they would come to Annapolis for a fishing/story telling trip…I’ve got a few…..

  • Julie Adams

    What they failed to mention is the amazing instrumental talent of the entire band! If you have seen ZBB in concert you know that he is one of the most talented gutarist you have every seen!! The fidle player can play that thing like a radio and is there anything the steele guitar player cannot play? You rock!!! in so many ways! How can anyone sum up ZBB in one paragraph? All I can say is listen again and download let it go!! The best song ever written!!!

    Looking back now on my life I can’t say I regret it
    And all the places that I ended up not the way Ma woulda had it
    But you only get once chance at life to leave your mark upon it
    And when a pony he comes riding by you better set your sweet ass on it!!!

  • Sarah

    These guys are awesome and must be seen live!

  • Jeffrey

    I can promise you that toes was not inspired by Kenny Chesney. The Zbb guys have been playing “toes” and other songs off this record for years prior to the national release of the “foundation” cd.
    In that time they considered themselves to be a southern rock band. Country radio picked them up, finally, so they’re considered country. They’ve been inspired by many folks, but this isn’t a “kenny Chesney-inspired” band. No disrepect to mr. Chesney.

  • Alex

    I like my chicken fried…

  • Michelle

    Jeffrey nailed it – Zac Brown shows both Southern Rock in the traditional style of strong guitar and drums + distinct influences of traditional bluegrass in his picking style and choices of instrumentals and harmonies. Where Alan J. and Randy T. brought us the mountains, he’s bringing the style combinations that I think will carry him forward into similar stratospheres.

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