Zac Brown Band are having one of their best years yet. Tonight, the group kicks off their “Black Out the Sun” tour at Connecticut’s Xfinity Theater in Hartford. The tour will make 31 more stops through late summer, wrapping in Kansas on September 10. In addition to their tour and hit album Jekyll + Hyde, many of Zac Brown Band’s eight members have very full lives right now.
Lead singer Zac Brown, despite his mild brush with the law a month ago, is going strong, spearheading one of the most popular bands in the country. In addition to his hit-making group, Brown has helped craft one of the tastiest music festivals around, The Southern Ground Music & Food Festival. This year’s Festival drew tens of thousands to Charleston, S.C. in a celebration of music of all kinds and local food to appeal to all palates. Brown keeps busy as a husband and father, in addition to running his own record label (Southern Ground, natch) and charity (Camp Southern Ground), and more.
Coy Bowles joined the band in 2006, bringing skills with keys (he plays piano, clavinet and Hammond organ) in addition to the guitar. Bowles also rocks out with his own group, Coy Bowles and the Fellowship, who linked up with ZBB when they opened for them. Bowles maintains membership in both groups fluidly, but didn’t stop there. Most recently, he published the adorable children’s books Amy Giggles – Laugh Out Loud and Will Powers: Where There’s a Will There’s a Way and has even designed a style of fedora called the “Troubadour.” A man with many hats, indeed.
Like Coy Bowles, Clay Cook is a musician who just doesn’t stop. Cook joined the band in 2009, and just released his first solo album, North Star this year. When not supporting his fellow ZBB band mates on the Black Out the Sun tour, he’s playing a handful of solo shows at intimate venues in May and June.
Percussionist Daniel de los Reyes is a powerhouse performer who joined the band after a storied career that saw him touring and recording with legends like Don Henley, Billy Joel, Earth, Wind & Fire, and Sting, among others. De los Reyes is also an inventor; he created the “Practice Pro Pad,” an all-in-one timbale and conga and the LP “One Shot Shaker” that allows novice and pro musicians the ability to control recording rhythms. Perhaps unsurprisingly, de los Reyes is from a family of musicians.
Meanwhile, the rest of the band: Jimmy de Martini, John Driskell Hopkins, Chris Fryar, and newest member Matt Mangano – all multi-instrumentalists – are keeping pace with the Black Out the Sun tour and more. The Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville just announced that they’ll be dedicating an entire exhibit to Zac Brown Band. Homegrown: Zac Brown Band will showcase instruments, touring clothes, lyric sheets, music, and more, paying homage to the small-town band that has found worldwide success. With a nod to Brown’s foodie and local-boy-made-good reputation, the CEO of the Country Hall of Fame’s museum had this to say:
Fifteen Number One hits later, they are one of the most innovative groups in country music today. With this exhibition, we will trace the band’s organic path to stardom that can only be described as ‘homegrown.'”
Make room in your busy schedule to catch the hitmakers live this summer on the Black Out the Sun tour.