‘Catch of the Day’ – Zac Brown Band – “My Old Man” [VIDEO]
Today we feature a group that has shown great musical diversity over their 6 albums, having scored #1 songs on both the country and rock charts, accomplishing the fete with two separate songs at the same time. For a band that started out as just a singer, his dog and a hired drummer, they have definitely come a long way.
Zac Brown picked up his first guitar, his mother's, at age 8. His stepfather, a dentist, enlisted one of his patients to teach the youngster how to play classical guitar. After 2 years of lessons, young Zac began to develop a love for bluegrass music, and began playing with his father and brother on his weekend visits. While still in high school, Brown began playing solo gigs, performing pop and country covers. By age 19, he began touring the southeast region of the U.S., with just a drummer and his dog Pete, all while attending the University of West Georgia.
By 2002, Brown had added drummer Marcus Petruska and a bass player to form the beginning of what would become known as the Zac Brown Band. A year later he formed his own record label, originally known as Home Grown Records, but it would later be changed to Southern Ground Records. The same year he opened a music club and restaurant with his father, called Zac's place, in Lake Oconee, GA, which featured "southern style cooking". He would soon sell the restaurant to a developer, giving Brown the money to buy a tour bus and tour full-time. The band's debut album, Home Grown would be released on his label
by the end of 2004.
Fiddler Jimmy DeMartini was added to the line-up with the release of the album, and one more member was in place. The band continued to tour more than 200 days a year, and in 2005 added bass player John Driskell Hopkins, who had actually produce Home Grown in his studio, Brighter Shade Studios. Hopkins joined in time to play on the band's next album, which would end up being their major label debut.
In 2007, the Zac Brown Band recorded the song "Chicken Fried", which was written by Zac. It had originally been recorded by The Lost Trailers, under the agreement that it was be used as an album track and wouldn't be released as a single. The Lost Trailers record reneged on the agreement, and when the single was released, a legal battle ensued, which saw a cease and desist order issued forcing the single to be pulled back. Within months of the Chicken Fried debacle, producer Keith Stegall convinced Brown to re-record "Chicken Fried" and the single was picked up by Atlantic Records, going on to become a #1 hit.
Prior to the release of their debut album The Foundation, the band would make two, adding Chris Fryar on drums and Clay Cook on all things keyboard. The final addition of Daniel de los Reyos on percussion in 2012 would bring their current line-up together. In 2014, Matt Mangano was added as an additional bass player, allowing Hopkins to flow between bass, guitar, ukulele and banjo. The group has released 6 albums, 4 with Atlantic/Bigger Picture Records and their latest, 2015's Jekyl + Hyde with Republic Records.
The 6 albums have led to a total of 16 top-10 hits, 14 #1's on the country chart; their collaboration with former Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, 2016's "Heavy Is The Head", topped the rock chart, and led to the band's unique distinction of becoming the first group ever nominated at the iHeart Music Awards for Country Song of the Year, "Homegrown" and Rock Song of the Year, "Heavy Is The Heart"; they won the Rock Song category.
The band has plans to release a brand new album, Welcome Home, in May, and the first single from the project is in our spotlight today. The Zac Brown Band and "My Old Man" is today's Catch of the Day, new music you haven't heard, but you'll want to hear it again.