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Zac Brown Band

The Foundation – 2008 (Atlantic)

Reviewed by Linda Dailey Paulson

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CDs by Zac Brown Band

Country music is filled with cliches, but when these all appear on a single track - and a debut no less, as in the case of the Zac Brown Band - it's even more irritating. The debut number one single, Chicken Fried, is a musical tribute to the country lifestyle - mama, good grub, beer - shoehorned into a single song. The bulk of the Georgia quintet's album consists of smooth, radio-friendly fare like the Jimmy Buffett lite tracks Toes and Where the Boat Leaves From.

Then there's Mary and Free, which feel less conventional and showcase their talents. There's some beautiful harmony vocals and stellar picking. It's what the band should aspire to. It's apparent the Zac Brown Band have the chops, but played it relatively safe with their first outing.