Without Zac Brown Band, yourlifeinasong.com probably wouldn’t exist. Around 8 years ago, these guys ignited my love of country music when I heard a little song called ‘Free’. Their first two albums ‘The Foundation’ and ‘You Get What You Give’ have become the soundtracks to my life and introduced me to a world of music that has provided me with years of pleasure. But for the last few years, I’ve felt my love for Zac Brown Band slowly slipping away. Their ‘experimental’ period with releases like ‘Beautiful Drug’ and ‘Heavy Is The Head’ worried me to say the least, and it seemed as though they wanted to leave their country days behind. Therefore, the announcement of the ‘Welcome Home’ album, “returning to our roots”, was music to my ears.
I remember watching their ‘Gas Station Jam’ videos all those years ago thinking it was a travesty how these guys weren’t huge, yet. Jimmy De Martini was at the forefront with his mesmerising command of a violin, something that barely featured in the band’s most recent ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ album. That was the Zac Brown Band I loved – ‘Chicken Fried’, ‘Whatever It Is’, ‘Toes’, ‘Free’, the list goes on. Please Zac, leave the techno club anthems to your ‘Sir Rosevelt’ side project.
And so we have the lead single from the ‘Welcome Home’ album, ‘My Old Man’. Wow. If you needed any reassurances from this single, you know from the spine-tingling acoustic guitar in the first 5 seconds that it just oozes class. The track requires nothing more; an acoustic guitar, subtle backing from Jimmy on the fiddle, Zac’s effortless vocals and the band’s sensational harmonies. They’re back.
A dedication to Zac’s father, ‘My Old Man’ begins with a retrospective look at the memories and life lessons that he provided. “I can still remember every lesson he taught me. Growing up, learning how to be like my old man”. Then we see a transition in time with Zac now a father himself, wishing to take inspiration from his father to leave a mark on his own son. “Do the best I can to raise him up the right way, hoping that he some day wants to be like his old man”. Finally, preceded by a wonderfully atmospheric violin solo from Jimmy, the song reaches a climax with “as he’s looking down, my old man, I hope he’s proud of who I am”. The song takes us through the stages of life and the pride of being a father, tugging at the heartstrings and will surely resonate with millions of listeners.
This one clearly means a lot for Zac personally, as you can decipher from the final line in the song where the emotion pours out. You’re made of steel if you can get all the way through with a dry eye. It made me emotional just hearing the Zac Brown Band I know and love again, the band that started this crazy journey. If this is the standard we can expect from the ‘Welcome Home’ album, it’s guaranteed to have the #1 spot on our list this year. No doubt about it.
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