OFFSTAGE: Don’t Put Zac Brown in a Box

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

The Zac Brown Band are up for four Grammys this year — all in the country category. Which is a box Brown doesn’t necessarily like being in. “I don’t know why everybody wants to put everything in a box. It’s almost like profiling,” he told USA Today. “We plan on going out and conquering every music lover we can find. We’re here to gather music lovers.” We get it. You’re not just country. But with all the rolling piano and blazing fiddle and lyrics about gypsy souls, the band’s newer music sure sounds country to me. And then, you know, there was that song about fried chicken and sweet tea which was pretty damn country. But while Brown may not understand why some people feel the need to categorize his band’s music, I think he understands how the business works. “As long as we have four or five songs on every record that can live on country radio, we don’t plan on going anywhere,” he said, adding that they just love to play, whether it’s for 50 people or 15,000 people.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.