The Zac Brown Band & Friends Live from The Fabulous Fox Theatre
Now this is what I call a downright fun live album. A double album actually, complete with a DVD when you buy the hard copy, but the digital download is enough to rock my day. The Zac Brown Band are the real deal and this star-studded benefit for Georgia Theatre’s rebuilding following a tragic fire is one of the finest musical experiences you could ever ask for.
There’s so much to love about The Zac Brown Band. They are the a huge part of the conduit that connects Southern Rock to today’s country music.
There are great live tracks of all the hits from “Whatever it is” to “Chicken Fried” and their most recent hit “Free,” but here it segues right into Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.” So good. Oh yes, “Toes” is here, featuring guest Shawn Mullins, another great Atlanta artist.
Say you like Southern Rock? Check out their wide open rendition of Charlie Daniels’ “The Devil Went Down to Georgia.” Mighty fine fiddle playing.
Or how about Marshall Tucker’s “Can’t You See” with special guest vocalist Kid Rock. It’s especially cool in that Zac’s lead guitarist Clay Cook was a former member of the Tucker Band, and nephew of MTB singer Doug Gray. Small world, huh?
The band has so many great influences, from Jimmy Buffett to Bob Marley, and it all comes to the front on an outstanding medley of “Where The Boat Lives From” and “One Love.” Did I say “Wow?”
More guests show up for the party, from Aslyn to Matt Mangano on bass on a funked up McCartney “Blackbird,” to Sonia Leigh and Massif.
The more I listen, the more it dawns on me just why I love this music so much. Not just the obvious seventies Southern rock flavors, but also Zac’s voice, which falls somewhere between Buffett and James Taylor at times.
The band pulls out all the stops on covers of The Band’s “The Night They Drove Ol’ Dixie Down” and Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” and a bluegrass flatpicking show stopper, “Alabama Jubilee.” I can only imagine seeing this show as it went down. Amazing.
This is one you don’t want to miss. Trust me. Have I ever lied to you? Just great, start to finish.
-Michael Buffalo Smith