Ten reasons Zac Brown Band will never win us over

5. On Southern Ground
Southern Ground is not only the name of his record label and cruise. According to the band's website: His Southern Ground banner flies over everything from metalworking to leather goods. In addition to housing offices and rehearsal space, the former industrial warehouse in Atlanta that serves as the company's headquarters also features a full kitchen for "Chef Rusty" Hamlin and his crew, the better to power those much-talked-about "eat and greets" that Brown, a former restaurant owner, hosts for lucky fans. The most farsighted plans reach beyond the warehouse, to a plot of land south of Atlanta where plans proceed for a nonprofit camp aimed to help kids overcoming behavioral and learning disabilities and disadvantaged backgrounds. Simultaneously, Southern Ground has secured a studio in Nashville for future recording needs. At this point it's safe to say that the Zac Brown Band is more than an act--it's quickly becoming a way of life.
Okay, we can't fault a dude who starts up a camp for kids. Who are we kidding. Yes we can, and we just did.

4. The DMB Connection
You know how people hate Dave Matthews Band? Sure you do. And why do people hate Dave Matthews Band? Beats me. They just do. It's like that, mom. Okay? Gawd.



3. Bands like this are why people think they hate bluegrass
I mean, bluegrass bands "jammed" before jamming was a jam, you know what I'm saying? And then the Grateful Dead came along, and that was pretty okay, but then "progressive bluegrass" bands from the String Cheese Incident to our own Trampled by Turtles followed, and all of a sudden, everyone hates bluegrass. Bill Monroe says that ain't fair! Or more accurately, he says, "That ain't no part of nothin'."

2. And the biggest ugh ever uttered
Was upon reading this, their own description of their latest album, Uncaged, which debuted at Number One on the Billboard 200 and which was described by Brown as "your basic country-Southern rock-bluegrass-reggae-jam record":
The result of a highly collaborative process, it's the sound of a group of versatile musicians gelling into a formidable unit and realizing they're capable of anything their fearless leader happens to dream up, from traditional country ("The Wind") to Caribbean rhythms ("Jump Right In") and even slinky bedroom R&B ("Overnight"). Running roughshod over genre boundaries, and bringing its audience along for the ride, its title is absolutely accurate--this is truly the sound of a band 'Uncaged'.

1. We are sad, sad haters with joyless lives
To be honest, this might be the real reason Zac Brown Band makes us groan. We just don't know how to be happy about anything, ever. Can you turn up that sad love song by that guy who killed himself? Thanks.

So fine. You can have your hacky sacks and tie-dyed beardos. Come Saturday the rest of us will be listening to Little Jimmy Dickens make the same old tired jokes on the Opry. Enjoy the show.

Zac Brown Band plays Saturday 11/10 at Target Center with openers Levi Lowrey and Blackberry Smoke (7:00, $31.50-69.50). 



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