My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Single Review: Zac Brown Band – ‘My Old Man’

The Zac Brown Band have always maintained that they are not a strictly country band; however, they they have been one of the few (mostly) bright spots at country radio over the past decade.  With the release of the polarizing Jekyll + Hyde album, they ventured into the world of EDM and reggae.  It didn’t seem to hurt them commercially but it did alienate many of their fans.  The Band now seems to be extending an olive branch to those fans with their new release, “My Old Man”.

Written by Zac Brown with Niko Moon and Ben Simonetti, “My Old Man” is the latest in country music’s long-standing tradition of honoring one’s parents.  It channels old chestnuts as “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, “Daddy’s Hands”, “That’s My Job” and “Love Without End, Amen” and delivers essentially the same message as those classic songs.  While it doesn’t break any new ground, it does take the initial steps needed to get country music in general – and the Zac Brown Band in particular – back on track artistically.

A sparsely arranged ballad consisting of acoustic guitar, a little fiddle, a subtle string arrangement and the Band’s trademark harmonies, “My Old Man” opens with the narrator’s boyhood reminiscences of his father.  In the second verse, the narrator is grown with a son of his own.  The third verse reveals that the narrator’s father has passed away.  The narrator expresses hope that he can live up to the example that was set for him, and looks forward to an eventual reunion with his father in the afterlife.

“My Old Man” was produced by Dave Cobb, best known for his work with Chris Stapleton, Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson.  It’s the refreshing glass of water that  fans have been crying out for during a long drought in the bro-country desert.  I look forward to hearing the Band’s forthcoming album.

Grade:  A

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2 responses to “Single Review: Zac Brown Band – ‘My Old Man’

  1. Jonathan Pappalardo March 9, 2017 at 7:31 am

    It seems Zac Brown finally has his head on straight. He’s responding to the widespread criticism of Jekyll + Hyde by splitting his aspirations. ZBB will now be solely a country band. He’s created a completely separate band, Sir Roosevelt, for his EDM, dance and ‘international’ songs:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/country/features/zac-brown-talks-new-album-dance-side-project-w470017

    • Razor X March 9, 2017 at 8:48 am

      Sounds like Chris Gaines 2.0 but at least it ensures that their country stuff will be kept separate from all the other junk.

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