Country-western music lovers who spring for Zac Brown Band tickets probably know that the American singer and musician, grew up in Georgia, just north of Atlanta. However, they may not know he grew up in a very large family and got his musical start there. Being almost the baby of the clan, Zac says that by the time he was growing up, most of his siblings had already left the nest. That, laughs Zac, allowed his father to take a fun, carefree approach to being a parent.
As a young kid, Zac grew up spending lots of time enjoying the outdoors in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains. If he was not swimming, hunting or fishing on the nearby Chestatee River, he was playing his guitar and trying to make music. Overall, Zac thinks this made for a pretty good childhood.
Zac’s parents were both musically inclined; his father was a guitar player and his mother sang in the church choir. However, Zac learned more from one of his older brothers who played bluegrass music on a guitar and a banjo. Having studied classical music at age seven, Zac taught himself how to combine the two genres of music.
During high school, Zac’s parents got calls from his teachers who complained that he daydreamed most of the time. He was busy dreaming up lyrics for songs he had written. Singing in a choir and a barbershop quartet were pastimes that Zac enjoyed. It was not until he got a chance to sing and play his guitar in a coffee shop as the opening act for some folk-music players, though, that he knew he wanted to make a living from his music.
The folk style lyrics hit home for Zac, and he loved the true stories of working class men and women that were detailed in the songs. Love lost, new loves, heartache and the woes of the blue-collar worker were all the things that he and his community had experienced as everyday life. Zac found it easy to put it all into lyrics that complemented his guitar skills.
Like the majority of those who were raised in the deep south, Zac worked a lot of minimum wage jobs. Today, he is proud that he worked his way up the success ladder, putting in his time doing those very things he now writes about. This, he believes, gives him his authenticity and puts the soul in his music — and his fans agree. Later, he evolved into his boozy southern-rock style, which branded him as the pride of his hometown, Dahlonega, Georgia.
Along the way, Zac put together his handpicked band of seven musicians. Unlike many bands and solo artists of today, the band is also gaining fame the hard way — by touring. It is, obviously, a plan that the Zac Brown Band (ZBB) has made work. The ZBB has amassed over 50 nominations in the biggest country music award presentations, such as the Grammy Awards, American Country Music, American Music Awards and the Country Music Awards.
Currently, the ZBB is on tour in the eastern half of the United States. Fans will be happy to know that Zac Brown Band tickets are still available for the rest of their shows, which end in November, 2012. After that, the ZBB plans to keep doing what they do best — writing, recording and touring. Have you been lucky enough to see Zac & his band in concert? I was fortunate enough to see them last year here at Red Rocks. They put on an absolutely amazing show!