The Zac Brown Band, who is holding a big benefit concert this Friday at the Fox Theatre for the burned Georgia Theatre in Athens, celebrated its second No. 1 single this week with “Toes, ” according to Mediabase 24/7.
The sun-kissed song about taking a break from Georgia and going on a trip to the Caribbean has a Kenny Chesney/Jimmy Buffett feel, a perfect summer song to go No. 1 in October. The north Georgia band’s first single “Chicken Fried” went No. 1 about a year ago and the second single “Whatever It Is’ hit No. 2 on the country chart.
Effectively, the band has outperformed the first three singles from another huge Georgia group Sugarland.
“Toes” managed to get around the fact that it uses the word “ass” several times and references pot in which the subject wants to “roll a big fat one.” Some radio stations used censored versions of the song to get around those references. Some ran only the original version at night. Others who didn’t care, such as 94.9/The Bull, didn’t receive many complaints at all. The song is that good.
“It’s mindblogging the way things have happened,” said songwriter Wyatt Durrette today. “Everything is happening so fast.”
He and Brown wrote most of the song. Bass guitarist John Driskell Hopkins and Atlanta’s own Shawn Mullins added a few extra bits, including the “PBR” reference. (Mullins will be at the benefit Friday.)
The band has built up a huge following via rigorous touring the past few years. In fact, they have at least 27 songs in the can they need to pare down for the album next year. “It’s a cool problem to have,” he said. noting that many bands end up rushing their sophomore album out without a backlog of great songs in the can.
Durrette expects the next CD to be out by late spring. That leaves them enough time to release a fourth single from “The Foundation” next month: another Georgia-flecked song called “Highway 20 Ride.” That’s I-20 they’re talking about!
Scott Lindy, who runs 94.9/The Bull, wrote to me the following:
I couldn’t be happier for Zac, this is one of the most deserved #1’s I can remember in recent history. There’s a huge future for ZBB in country music. This is the effort of a dedicated promo team combined with a band that’s helping shape where the sound and content of country music will go.
(I think Toby Keith’s “Courtesy OF The Red White And Blue” had as many or more plays in its life up to the same point,…but only said “ass” once. J )