I love having some drinks with my friends and listening to Jimmy Buffett. I have been to countless Jimmy Buffett concerts and I even sport a Jimmy Buffett tattoo to display my fealty. I know that doesn’t seem to have much to do with the Zac Brown Band, but the point is pretty simple. When someone asks me to explain Zac Brown Band, I say, “imagine Jimmy Buffett if he had talent”.
Zac Brown Band’s The Foundation is for lack of a better description, the CD I want to hear every Friday at 5 o’clock. It brings a smile to my face, a happiness to my heart, and a song to my lips. It is one of those rare yet unmistakable CD’s that will never leave you and will always show you something new.
The first song I heard from The Foundation was “Chicken Fried”. I have to admit, I heard it briefly in passing a couple of times and kinda blew it off. It hit too many of the usual country song stereotypes so I didn’t pay it much attention. Then I had the chance to actually sit down and listen to “Chicken Fried”. From there I started reading about Zac Brown Band and from there I found an amazing southern country band.
Born the 11th of 12 kids, Zac Brown cut his musical teeth playing everything from bars to parking lots around Georgia. Wait, parking lots you say? One of the defining attributes of Zac Brown Band is their actual musical ability. The Zac Brown Band can stand around a parking lot jamming and sound better than many of the produced studio albums you will hear on the radio today. As proof I offer up Zac Brown Band playing “Can The Circle Be Unbroken (by and by) live in a gas station parking lot.
Picking the best song from The Foundation is like playing darts with a shotgun. You are gonna win. “Toes” and “Where The Boat Leaves From” reminds me of that one vacation a year that makes everything in the real world seem alright. Then you can go back to work when Monday rolls around.
Concrete and cars are there own prison bars like this life I’m living in
But the plane brought me farther.
I’m surrounded by water
And I’m not going back again
“Chicken Fried” has certainly had the most radio airtime and really showcases some of the southern rights of passage we come to expect from our southern country/rock. As fun and catchy as “Chicken Fried” is, there are also some very moving heartfelt songs on The Foundation. The heartbreaking story of divorce and children in “Highway 20 Ride” and the visions of freedom and love in “Free” really showcase Zac Brown’s talented writing ability. The Foundation reall is an album full of excellent songs and each song masterfully paints a picture.
Check out The Foundation and I think you might be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.