On April 28th, multi-Platinum recording group Zac Brown Band will release their fourth major-label studio album, titled ‘Jekyll + Hyde.’ New England Country Music (NECM) was given a preview of some of the tracks on the highly anticipated album.
‘Homegrown’ – Written by Zac Brown, Niko Moon, and Wyatt Durrette.
Impression: We previously did a whole review of this track as it was the first single off the album, released in mid-January. And our impression of this song hasn’t changed- we still LOVE it! And it appears everyone else does too as ‘Homegrown’ hit the top spot on the Billboard Country Airplay charts, the band’s 11th number one song, and recently surpassed 500,000 sales. The catchy song is fantastic that describes the simple things in life that make Zac Brown ‘Homegrown.’
Favorite Lyrics: I got some good friends, that live down the street. Got a good lookin’ woman with her arms ‘round me…
‘Dress Blues’ – Written by Jason Isbell.
Impression: This is the lone track on ‘Jekyll + Hyde’ that Zac had no part in writing. The track has already made it’s way around publicly as ZBB performed it on Jimmy Kimmel as well as at the 2015 College Football Playoff National Championship pregame show. The track first appeared on Isbell’s 2007 record, ‘Sirens of the Ditch,’ but there is one difference between Isbell’s and ZBB’s renditions. In Isbell’s version, the lyrics mention ‘Hollywood war,’ and in ZBB’s version, the lyrics are changed to ‘God awful war.’ Either way, this song is beautifully written and ZBB does an amazing job with the recording of the track which describes a young man who paid the ultimate sacrifice in defending his country. The patriotic song was written about Cpl. Matthew D. Conley, who tragically lost his life during Operation Iraqi Freedom. ‘Dress Blues,’ the title of the song, refers to the formal attire that Marines are buried in after returning home from war. ZBB’s Jimmy De Martini has a beautiful fiddle solo right around 2:35 that you don’t want to miss.
Favorite Lyric: You’d turn twenty-two and we’d celebrate you. In a bar or a tent by the creek. Your baby would just about be here. Your very last tour would be up. But you won’t be back, they’re all dressin’ in black. Drinking sweet tea in styrofoam cups…
‘Heavy Is The Head’ – Written by Written by Zac Brown, Niko Moon, Wyatt Durrette, Josh Driskell Hopkins, Jimmy De Martini, and Darrell Scott.
Impression: ‘Heavy Is The Head’ is the sixth track on ‘Jekyll + Hyde’ and features Chris Cornell, formerly of the groups, Soundgarden and Audioslave. And on the first listen, you definitely get more of a rock vibe than a country vibe. The song has actually reached the number three spot on the US Mainstream Rock Chart, the first time on that chart as well as on the Rock Airplay Chart. With the name of the album being ‘Jekyll + Hyde,’ it almost seems that ‘Heavy Is The Head’ is the more Hyde-type track compared to songs like ‘Homegrown’ and ‘Castaway, which have a happier sound and could be the Jekyll’s of the record.
Favorite Lyric: It’s a lifelong expedition, second guessing your decisions. Try to find out what’s been missing, and the pages keep on filling…
Just a note: when we were at the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, ZBB performed ‘Castaway’ off the new album and let’s just say that this track definitely has a summer, island-like vibe that we have come to know from the Zac Brown Band.
When ‘Jekyll + Hyde’ is released come Tuesday, this album will be at the top of the charts and should reach Platinum status with no problem as their previous three albums had no issue reaching the feat.
Luckily for thousands of ZBB fans, if you purchased a ticket to Zac Brown Band’s Fenway Park shows, you will be sent a copy of the album (which we got shipping notification of our copies last week).
You can pre-order ‘Jekyll + Hyde’ on iTunes here, and you’ll automatically receive the above three tracks as well as ‘Loving You Easy.’
The Zac Brown Band will have several stops in New England this summer, including three at Fenway Park following two sold-out shows at the historic venue in 2014. Check them out at one of the shows below:
June 6th: Hartford, CT (Xfinity Theatre)
June 7th: Bangor, ME (Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion)
August 7th: Boston, MA (Fenway Park)
August 8th: Boston, MA (Fenway Park)
August 9th: Boston, MA (Fenway Park)