Zac Brown Lets It Rock a Little

Combining Best of Country and Rock Can Be a Challenge

No, Zac Brown isn’t going all rock ‘n’ roll on us, but he isn’t afraid to allow the rock gods to infiltrate his style just a little bit.

Brown recently acknowledged that rock has had quite an impact on his style and songwriting as he continues to grow as an artist.


“As we work to continue doing what we’re doing, there’s a lot of great rock music that has a great vibe,” Brown said. “I can’t understand anything that they’re sayin’, (but) I still like it a lot.”

I have to admit, I feel you there sometimes, buddy.

But this is where the great storytelling of country music comes into play for Brown and his bandmates and co-writers. Blending that lyrical imagery — those great visuals associated with country music — with those rock sensibilities can create some mighty fine musical magic. However, Brown says it creates a bit of a musical challenge, too.

“The great stories live around country and folk music,” Brown said. “I think the challenge is just taking that same lyric and story that’s in that song and wrapping in something that’s gonna move all those people the same way that those rock songs do. It’s always a challenge to try to make ‘em better and figure out that puzzle.”

But something tells me this is a challenge Brown is willing and ready to accept. He and his band have worked with Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl, and we’ve already seen a cool and snappy evolution in the Zac Brown Band’s style as of late. Will we hear a super-cool sonic evolution on their next album?

Time will tell. They’re working on the new music as we speak. The first tracks are expected to be released this spring.

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.