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Zac Brown Band Grinds Through the Tough Years

Zac Brown band photo by; courtesy of Shore Fire Media.

The Zac Brown Band has had five hits in the last two years, and the group has become so big so quickly that it’s hard to remember the members were all struggling musicians through most of their time together.

Genuinely successful people believe in themselves, and they often lay it on the line when things look their most bleak. That’s certainly the case for Zac and crew, who played for years in the Atlanta area before they broke through nationally. They did all right on their home turf, but when they ventured into new territory in a converted airport shuttle bus, it cost money to get there, and they often lost money in the process.

They were “barely making enough to get gas to get to the next city,” fiddler Jimmy De Martini told Billboard. “We were starting to get well-known in Atlanta, but any time we’d play out of town there’d be 20 or so people going to the show.”

Zac had founded a restaurant in Atlanta, and he wasn’t miserly with the proceeds. The band believed in what it was doing, and that was particularly true of Zac, who put his money where his mouth was.

“We knew we had something special, so we had to just stick with it,” Jimmy said. “Zac always made enough to survive and he always helped us out, even when the band wasn’t making money. He’d do what it took to fix up the shuttle bus or whatever we needed to do to keep going.”

If there were any doubts about ZBB breaking out beyond Atlanta, they were put to rest when the group walked off with the Grammy this year for Best New Artist. Plus, Zac picked up a double-platinum album for The Foundation, and went double-platinum with the single “Chicken Fried,” platinum with “Toes,” and gold with “Whatever It Is.”

The band’s next album, You Get What You Give, comes out Sept. 21. Click HERE to get a free MP3 download of their song “Keep Me In Mind” from Amazon! The free download offer is available only through Sept. 19, 2010.


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