Your favorite artist or band probably started off as just a local group playing the bars, clubs, and county fairs building up a following. From humble beginnings comes greatness. The Zac Brown Band has been around for almost twenty years and took the long path to the top of the country music mountain. Their debut album, The Foundation, went 3x Platinum based on a huge fan base built on an endless tour schedule that die-hard fans followed around the country like the Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, and Phish. Their career has been based on a charismatic lead singer, incredible harmony, a band of talented musicians with no weak links, and beautifully written lyrics that deeply touch the heart. Some groups like to keep it safe and stay inside the box, the Zac Brown Band have crushed stereotypes. How many country artists mix Reggae, Blues, Gospel, Southern Rock, Folk, Beach Music, Bluegrass, Heavy Metal, and Rhythm & Blues sometimes all on the same album! The concerts are like a jukebox full of hits plus cover songs of their favorite artists that run the gamut from The Beatles, Stevie Wonder, Chris Cornell, Van Morrison, Rage Against The Machine, and Queen. Impossible to do but here’s an attempt at the ultimate TOP 10 ZAC BROWN BAND PLAYLIST:
It’s hard to believe songs like “Chicken Fried”, “As She’s Walking Away” (with Alan Jackson), “Tomorrow Never Comes”, “Come Pick Me Up” (Ryan Adams Cover), and “Knee Deep” didn’t make the final countdown but that’s a testament to their amazing catalog of hits.
BONUS 11. “KEEP ME IN MIND” A feel-good party track with a bouncy groove that will get you out of your chair. Cut to the 1:47 mark when Zac slows it down for an old-school R&B breakdown “If ever you wanted me, I’ll be your man.” Awesome!
10. “ISN’T SHE LOVELY” (Live) From a live bootleg, a glorious jam band cover of Stevie Wonder’s ode to his newborn daughter. Faithful to the original, but completely original!
9. “FLYIN’ HIGH” A duet with Kid Rock that should have hit #1 on the country charts. They met prior to an USO Tour of the Middle East and become close friends. Check out their duet on “Can’t You See” on the ZBB’s live CD, Pass The Jar.
8. “GOODBYE IN HER EYES” A master storyteller, Zac takes us front and center to a couple on the verge of a breakdown. He can see it all without saying a word. The emotional buildup and the band’s harmony are pure perfection here.
7. “DAY THAT I DIE” A spiritual duet with Amos Lee on their Uncaged CD that asks the ultimate question, “What are you going to do with your life?” Make your decision, never question why, no regrets.
6. “ON THIS TRAIN” A song that pre-dates their debut album. “On This Train” is a sing-along fan favorite at their concerts. The acoustic version is the best version.
5. “ALL ALRIGHT” From the Grohl Sessions CD. Dave Grohl (The Foo Fighters) took the band to another level here. You can feel Gospel influences all over the track.
4. “COLDER WEATHER” Geography, timing, life on the road, and the fear of settling down…”Colder Weather” brings to mind emotional late night epics like Bob Seger’s “Turn The Page”. One of Zac’s most emotional recordings, it’s an instant classic.
3. “WHATEVER IT IS” Paul McCartney said it best, “Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs, but what’s wrong with that.” This is a timeless classic, a pure and simple love song with so much heart and sincerity.
2. “HIGHWAY 20 RIDE” A heart-stopping ode to the kids of divorced parents. Zac paints an epic picture of a crumbling marriage, a man questioning his decisions in life, but treasuring his greatest moment, the birth of his child.
1. “TOES” The greatest Jimmy Buffett song never recorded by him! “I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand. Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand. Life is good today. Life is good today.” You cannot feel anything but FUN listening to this hilarious Spanish-tinged beach party track.