Zac Brown Band comes to Huntington Center Feb. 5Written by Vicki L. Kroll | | email@example.com
Before taking the stage in Toledo, the Zac Brown Band will play a Super Bowl show this weekend alongside the Foo Fighters in New York City.
No surprise since Dave Grohl produced the group’s EP, “The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1,” which dropped in December.
“We’re big fans of everything from Nirvana and Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, all the bands that Dave Grohl has played with, and he’s a great guy, amazing to work with, a great musician, and he just knows how to make good music,” said Jimmy De Martini, fiddler and vocalist.
“We got him to play the drums on one of the songs on ‘The Grohl Sessions’ called ‘Let It Rain.’ He just brought an energy that was quite amazing to the track,” he added.
De Martini sawed a sizzling solo to spark that song.
“When you record a track, [Grohl] encourages you in a way to bring out your best performance,” he said. “He’s quite fun to hang out with, too. He’s an open book and any question you ask him about anything, he’s really honest with you.”
Recorded at Brown’s Southern Ground Studios in Nashville, the EP opens with “All Alright.”
“That’s actually one of the first songs that I helped contribute for the band,” De Martini said during a call from Atlanta. “The chorus was something that I had shown to Zac maybe three or four years ago and he really liked it a lot, but there was no place for it. And so he came up with the verses and the guitar riff at the beginning and everything, and it sounded kind of like a Black Crowes’ tune, and that was kind of what we were going for.”
The fast-fingered man with the bow said the band likely will work with Grohl again.
“I think definitely we’re going to get back together and make another volume because the experience was great for us,” De Martini said. “[Grohl] seemed to really enjoy it, too. Actually, right when he got in his car to leave Nashville, he sent us all a long, loving text, and it was really cool.”
Since serving up “Chicken Fried” and “Toes” from the 2008 debut, “The Foundation,” the Zac Brown Band has been amassing fans.
“Everybody in the band comes from different influences. Zac grew up listening to ’60s and ’70s singer-songwriters; we’ve got guys who grew up listening to jazz; I grew up listening to mostly rock; another guy grew up listening to Southern rock,” De Martini said.
“When it all comes together, it’s just the Zac Brown Band sound, and I think it appeals to a lot of people.”
“Sweet Annie” from 2012’s “Uncaged” just became the group’s 10th No. 1 single. The Grammy Award winners have sold more than six million records.
“The best thing that fans can do is just listen all the way through our albums. I know we have country singles that come out on the country radio, but we put our hearts into every song on every album. And these days it seems that albums come out and people will put out their three or four singles and just put a bunch of filler songs on an album, but that’s not how we do it,” De Martini said.
“One of the reasons we made an EP this time was to let people digest all the songs on it. We only came out with four songs, but everybody is going to listen to all four songs and get them in their head.”
Brown, De Martini, drummer Chris Fryar, guitarist and organist Coy Bowles, percussionist Daniel de los Reyes, bassist and vocalist John Driskell Hopkins, and guitarist, keyboardist, mandolinist and vocalist Clay Cook will play at 7 p.m. Feb. 5 at the Huntington Center. Levi Lowrey and the AJ Ghent Band will open. Tickets are $69.50 and $74.50.
“The best part is when we hit the stage. That’s what we’ve always done best; that’s where we feel most comfortable. I think that’s where we shine,” De Martini said. “Zac really stresses to us that we stretch out and that we be ourselves and we don’t feel like we need to play a three-minute song after three-minute song and then play all the hits and then walk off stage.
“He gives us time to stretch out and take a solo if we want to or trade off of each other and to improvise a little bit. The show is different every night.”