July 9, 2021
Zac Brown Band released two new singles, "Out in the Middle" and" Old Love Song," with the help of a familiar co-writer: country music superstar, Luke Combs.
According to Brown, "Out in the Middle is southern rock storytelling about being country, being proud of what that is and being proud of living a simple life and working hard."
"It's a tip of the hat to the people who live out in the middle of nowhere, and they're happy being there," Brown added. "People that live in the city often make fun of country people until they come out and experience it for themselves. Then they really get into it. There's a reason that you stay out there."
Where "Out in the Middle" features a foot-stomping blues beat, "Old Love Song" is a breezy, romantic, retro groove. The latter's chorus strings together the titles of Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," Randy Travis' "Forever and Ever, Amen," Ben E. King's "Stand By Me," Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'," Keith Whitley's "When You Say Nothing at All," and Corinne Bailey Rae's "Girl, Put Your Records On."
"This is all the songs that you fell in love to. It was like a puzzle trying to put together all the song titles we really love and making that into a love song. I grew up listening to oldies -- songs a lot older than I was. And this song has that feel to it," Brown said on the song.
In an interview with Apple Music Country's Today's Country Radio host, Kelleigh Bannen, Brown recalled working with Combs. "Getting to write with Luke Combs for the first time was great. He's got great sensibility for parts and then singing along, man, what a voice. He's got an incredible voice," Brown said.
"Luke's a great writer, and of course, he's an amazing singer, and it was fun," Brown added. "I hope we do more together."
Ben Simonetti and Jonathan Singleton joined Zac Brown Band and Combs in penning the tracks. Simonett has worked with the band on numerous occasions, including the 2016 album "Jekyll + Hyde" and "The Owl," released in 2019, while Singleton is an acclaimed co-writer working on hits such as "Beer Never Broke My Heart" by Combs and "Why Don't We Just Dance" by Josh Turner.
The two new songs follow Zac Brown Band's radio single "Same Boat" - also co-written by Brown with Simonetti and Singleton, released in June of this year. The band has hinted at 15 new tracks and a new album; the new project would be the first album since "The Owl" in 2019.
Additionally,the band will be hitting the road for the launch of The Comeback Tour this August.