June 29, 2009 — The Zac Brown Band sure gets around when it comes to musical styles. Earlier this month, the group was one of the few country acts that showed up at the Bonnaroo rock music festival in Manchester, Tenn. The next day, the band played the CMA Music Festival with a four-song set that stretched from folk to reggae to a high-octane cover of Charlie Daniels' "The Devil Went Down To Georgia."
Tearing down walls is kind of the band's reason for being.
Bonnaroo "was my favorite show that we've done in a long time," Zac told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I love the challenge of being in front of people that haven't heard us before. Good music is good music, period."
Growing up in Georgia, Zac was shaped by some of the same musicians who've been cited as influences on Garth Brooks. But Zac grew up in a different decade. And while Garth matched pop influences with honky tonk, Zac and his crew shift genres almost at will.
"When everybody [my age] was listening to Nirvana, I was listening20to James Taylor, Jim Croce, Dan Fogelberg, Gordon Lightfoot, Cat Stevens," he said. "James Taylor is the single biggest influence I have, period. The James Taylor Greatest Hits tape, I stretched three of those 'til they just snapped."
Plenty of young musicians are now listening to Zac. The band's album The Foundation was certified gold and its first hit, "Chicken Fried," was certified platinum. ZBB's next single will be the island-flavored "Toes."