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Zac Brown Band - The Foundation 
By: Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

For a long time, I had been fighting this guys material, like, who is he? Covering all this stuff and sounding like Charlie Daniels, doing Southern Rock in his shows.

Zac Brown quit his job cooking in the family restaurant in Atlanta, GA to start a musical career. He started out just by himself singing and playing guitar. One by one, Brown added members to his group. This is his fourth album and I am listening to here is what won me over for good. There is a short fiddle intro and then the song starts, I used to see this video on GAC all of the time, the song is "Free". The video shows the ZBB on a visit to Iraq and follows them around and they do a show for the troops. For me, this is tops, it is a real sacrifice to make a trip to Iraq, but they looked comfortable and the song is beautiful.

Alan Jackson's cohort for many years, Keith Stegall helps him produce this The Foundation. Brown insists that their music is Southern, not country, now there are places in the CD that I can pick that up, but face it folks, "chicken pickin' is chickin' pickin'". Speaking of... "Chicken Fried" is a classic song that just begs a listen, full of great hooks and melodies. I really love a song that they do called "Mary". It is about someone who is letting him down. Between him and his lead guitar player, the song has some really great guitar pickin'. Brown's classical type guitar gives out a different vibe, but he makes it work. The guitar is a custom Taylor, made for him, and Brown plays it well. The whole band is great.

"Different Kind Of Find" goes into some southern rock on the lead guitar, this recording has a real live feel. His band really has their own signature on their sound and they are southern folk that make you feel at home. When I first watched him, I just did not trust him. He seemed a bit aloof, I think that is, just him. After watching much footage of him, he seems to be a real down-home type of guy.

Bonus coverage - What makes this edition of The Foundation different, other than you can only get it at Cracker Barrel, is the addition of three cover songs that they do live. They do a Band like version of "The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down". The vocals are just great, lots of emotion and energy put into it. Then they do a Lucinda Williams song titled, "I Lost It". For the last song is a very moving version of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released." Another awesome rendition with an incredible slide break, reminiscent of Duane Allman. I mean the phrasing, everything sounds just like Allman is in the House. Man, can this guy play some guitar. Brown sings this really well with help from his band.

Well, this was a very enjoyable review. This CD is just plain good, plus, the bonus stuff.  Zac, also has some things in the store, like a cookbook and a couple of sauces "Southern Ground Grub".

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