Zac Brown on Family’s Road Life

Homeschooling Children on the Road

There’s a song — an outstanding song — on Zac Brown Band’s You Get What You Give album from 2010. It’s called “I Play the Road.”

It’s about life in a touring band, but it’s a little more poetic than other similar songs, especially in the mostly-acappella bridge where one of Brown’s four daughters questions his constant departures.

She says, “Daddy where do you go/When you leave me all these nights with a suitcase and guitar in your hand?/Kissing me and mom goodbye with a tear and a smile/Where do you go, Daddy, where do you go?”

But it sounds like Brown isn’t always leaving the family behind anymore. His wife, Shelly, and their five kids have been on the road with him these days.

“Family comes out whenever we know it’s gonna be steady on a run that’s continuous,” he said in a recent radio interview. “If I’m chartering in and out and flying home after I play, that doesn’t make sense. But where we can bus, then we’ll bring the family out and spend time with them during the day.”

And wherever the tour takes them, that’s their school. Because Brown and his wife home school their daughters (and their son Alexander when he’s old enough).

“Part of what we’re doing this year is an American History tour,” he explains, “and so some of the history that they’re learning is right there on the sites where it actually happened.”

The band will be on the road for nine more dates in September. The Black Out the Sun tour continues Sept. 1 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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