Zac Brown Band is an American country music band based in Atlanta, Georgia. The lineup consists of Zac Brown (lead vocals, guitar), Jimmy De Martini (fiddle, vocals), John Driskell Hopkins (bass guitar, vocals), Coy Bowles (guitar, keyboards), Chris Fryar (drums) and Clay Cook (guitar, keyboards, mandolin, steel guitar, vocals).
The band has toured throughout the United States, including a slot on the 2009 and 2010 Bonnaroo Music Festival. They have also recorded four studio albums, and charted five Number One singles on the Billboard country charts: “Chicken Fried”, “Toes”, “Highway 20 Ride”, “Free”, and “As She’s Walking Away”, in addition to the single “Whatever It Is,” which peaked at number 2 on the same chart.
The Zac Brown Band then signed to Live Nation Records in 2008. Their first single, “Chicken Fried”, was originally recorded in 2003 and included on the Home Grown album, but later re-recorded and released to country radio in 2008. This song was also recorded by The Lost Trailers, whose 2006 recording was released as a single but withdrawn after Brown decided that he wanted to release it himself. Brown also co-wrote “Simple Life”, a song recorded by The Lost Trailers on their 2006 self-titled album.
In October 2008, Atlantic Records took over distribution of “Chicken Fried.” The band’s album The Foundation was released under Atlantic Records’ newly re-established country division in association with the Home Grown/Big Picture label on November 18, 2008.
The group had been previously signed with Live Nation Artists Records. “Chicken Fried” reached #1 on the country charts in November 2008, making them the first country band to reach #1 with a debut single since Heartland did so in 2006 with “I Loved Her First.”
In January 2009, Clay Cook joined as a multi-instrumentalist, and the band released its second single, “Whatever It Is,” which went to number two. In July 2009, a third single, “Toes,” became the band’s second Number One. The album’s fourth #1 was “Highway 20 Ride”. On July 16 and 17, 2010, they performed at Citi Field as the opening act for the Dave Matthews Band. “Free” is the album’s fifth single and on the week of August 21, 2010, it hit Number One.
Zac Brown Band received four nominations for the 2009 CMA Awards including New Artist of the Year, as well as Song of the Year, Single of the Year, and Music Video of the Year for their #1 single, “Chicken Fried”. They also received three Grammy nominations for Best Country Album, Best Country Performance By a Duo or Group With Vocals and Best New Artist.
On January 31, 2010, the band won the award for Best New Artist. Zac Brown Band becoming the fifth country artist to win the Best New Artist, after Bobbie Gentry, Debby Boone, LeAnn Rimes, and Carrie Underwood.
The group has been nominated for three ACM awards, “Album of the Year”, “Top Vocal Group”, and is one of the eight contenders for “Entertainer of the Year”.
The band is known to cover songs by their major musical influences in concert, with notable songs including Come Pick Me Up by Ryan Adams, The Devil Went Down To Georgia by Charlie Daniels, I Shall Be Released by Bob Dylan, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down by The Band, Blackbird by The Beatles, Into The Mystic by Van Morrison, One Love by Bob Marley, and Can’t You See by The Marshall Tucker Band. On their 2010 Live benefit album Pass the Jar, these songs were included in their setlist.
Along with recent commercial success, the band has made appearances at The Hangout Music Festival, Hullabalou Music Festival and the Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2006, 2009, and 2010 along with an opening slot for the Dave Matthews Band during their 2010 Summer Tour. Also, after several years as perennial favorites on the annual The Rock Boat theme-cruise, the Zac Brown Band has been elevated to hosting their own theme-cruise, Sailing Southern Ground, in September 2010.
Jimmy Buffett, Aaron Carman and guitar virtuoso Tony Rice join Alan Jackson as special guests on the new Zac Brown Band album, “You Get What You Give,” which was released on September 21, 2010.Zac Brown Band appeared at the 44th Annual Country Music Awards on Nov 10, 2010, performing As She’s Walking Away. BOLA TANGKAS