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Zac Brown Band returns to their country roots with the latest album and tour

Zac Brown Band’s current tour is not only an opportunity to showcase their latest album, “The Comeback,” which was released last year, but they’re using these shows to take fans on a trip through their stunning rise from playing clubs in Atlanta, Ga. to amphitheaters, arenas and stadiums across the country.

“This is probably the most intimate tour that we’ve ever done in the sense that we start out kind of how we started out as a band,” Zac Brown Band guitarist and keys player Coy Bowles said during a Zoom interview ahead of the band coming to the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles on Friday, Nov. 4 and headlining the first night of the three-day Wonderfront Festival in San Diego on Friday, Nov. 18.

“We start out with this bar vibe and Zac (on stage), and it kind of unfolds the way our career did,” he continued. “And Zac is doing more storytelling and more kind of just filling the crowd in on how we all came together. I mean, I don’t come on until a couple of songs in. Every night, the stories change just a little bit, and it’s always just really cool to hear Zac talk about how this whole thing came together because it is such a wild ride. We’re so blessed. We’re a bunch of Southern boys who had a big dream and it came true, man. So hearing it kind of spoken out and played out the way it unfolds on stage is really cool for our audience and ourselves.”

The approach to the show makes sense considering “The Comeback,” with its songs that lean decidedly country, is being considered a return to the group’s original musical roots, which is an assessment Bowles didn’t dispute. He credited Ben Simonetti, who co-wrote many of the songs and co-produced the album with Brown, with helping guide the band through the making of “The Comeback” and achieve Brown’s vision for the album.

“It was kind of like the original recipe, great songs that Zac had his heart into and the band helping support that with musicianship,” Bowles said. “We were trying to sound like the Zac Brown Band, and it really worked.”

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Fiddle player Jimmy De Martini, who joined Bowles for the Zoom interview, feels the isolation of the pandemic also played a part in the musical direction of the record and the return to the sound that first brought the group success. When the members arrived to record the album, they had been apart for more than a year.

“It felt so good to see these guys. It felt so good to be a band again,” De Martini said. “I think that’s what lends itself to the old-style sound, is we were back together again, and we had such a break and maybe we had taken (things) for granted and we were just happy to be together again.”

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