Recently, under the influence of a few adult beverages I made an exclamation that my friends found humorous.  Maybe it was the utter conviction in which I said it, or maybe it was the randomness from which it came, but they thought it was funny enough to quote on their Facebook.  The quote was " The Zac Brown Band will change Country Music as we know it!"  OK Maybe it was a bit zealous, but I guess I am just passionate about their music.

It started in Nashville a few years ago when me and Jake (The afternoon guy here at WGNA) were down in Nashville doing interviews for CMA week. It takes place in a huge room with like twenty radio stations all on the air at the same time.  The artists are brought around to the different stations for a quick interview with each.  Usually, they are escorted by someone who works with the organizers of the event and often have some sort of entourage of managers or record company people in tow as well.  SO after a couple of hours of all sorts of people this unassuming and unpretentious guy in a beard and a ski cap comes over.  He was completely by himself.  He sat down and started to ask us how our day was going.  I had no idea who the guy was , but Jake had seen him and heard his stuff before.  He could have been the janitor for all I knew.

At that point he noticed an acoustic guitar we had brought for artists to sign that we could auction off for "Pennies From Heaven".  He asked if he could play it and Jake of course said yes.  And it was then my friends that I was hooked.  To see and hear what this guy could do with an out of tune guitar, with no planning or for-thought what so ever, just amazing. There was just something about the way he played that thing.  It wasn't just the music itself, which was incredible, it was how he became the music.  You don't see it as often as you would think, not even with the really big , really successful musicians.  I guess you would call it the "IT" factor.  And to be obvious and extremely corny here, the dude has got whatever it is.  When he is playing his music he clearly mentally and spiritually goes somewhere else and if your watching you have no choice but to go there yourself.  Its a very cool experience.

Since that day I have been , as you all probably know, a huge Zac Brown fan.  The last time I went to Nashville , I finally got a chance to see the whole band play in concert. It was amazing, everything I saw that day when it was a one on one encounter translates to the stage with the whole band.  I think its one concert when they come to the area that you HAVE to see.  I don't think I can put into words the fun you will have. I guess you just gotta trust me on this one.

Now many of you already know about Zac and the band, and are big fans as well.  But there may be a few of you reading this that haven't heard much or haven't payed much attention.  It is for those people that I wrote this and I hope you find some of the music and give it a listen.  It has to be more than a few songs though, as like most bands that are really good, they have many different styles and one song doesn't sound like all the rest.  I hope that my passion for the band inspires you to check them out.

And with that , I'd love to hear about who you have a passion for.  Comment on this blog about who I and the other readers might be missing out on.  Sure we all hear the songs released on the radio , but maybe there's some we should be digging a little deeper into. So here's your chance, let me know who makes you passionate about Country Music!