CMA Awards 2018

Zac Brown Band Play 'Welcome Home' Tracks, Talk Album Process at iHeartRadio Release Party

Andrew Swartz for iHeartRadio
Zac Brown Band performs on stage at the iHeartRadio Album Release Party at the iHeartRadio Theater in New York on May 15, 2017.

If you've listened to Zac Brown Band's latest LP Welcome Home and feel as though it's the most back-to-their-roots album since their 2008 major-label debut The Foundation, you're not wrong. In fact, the country band's eponymous frontman acknowledged that fact during a Q&A at the iHeartRadio Album Release Party with Zac Brown Band on Monday night (May 15).

"It was fun to experiment with Jekyl & Hyde, but it was nice to go back to the old sound," Brown said while chatting with iHeartRadio on-air personality Bobby Bones. 

Before getting into a 12-song set of mainly new material (along with some oldie-but-goodie tunes), Brown also briefly discussed the album's evolution. Perhaps one of the most surprising tidbits was the fact that the 10-song record came together in less than a week.

"We had seven days in the studio set aside. We could have came back if we hadn't had everything ready, but I felt pretty good about it," Brown said. "Everybody in the band, all these guys, it's an honor to play with all of them. They're all superior musicians. They can make something sound pretty good really fast. So it all came together."

Considering every new song was performed almost effortlessly, it was pretty plain to see that the Zac Brown Band guys have crafted a body of work that feels like home to them, as the title insinuates. Their stage was adorned with draped bulb lights overhead, adding to the homey ambiance that the group created with Brown's smooth vocals and their beautiful harmonies.

While classics like "Chicken Fried" and "Colder Weather" definitely triggered more of a response from the crowd, there was clearly an appreciation for all of Zac Brown Band's new songs as well. Some audience members even offered a request for Welcome Home track "Your Majesty" toward the end of the show. 

Even if the fans in attendance didn't know every song word-for-word the way they knew the hits (the album did just come out three days prior to the show, after all), Brown acknowledged that his band's latest creation is one that is likely to get that same kind of reaction soon enough. 

"Thank y'all for listening to some new stuff. I know it's not familiar, but I hope it will be."

ALBUM RELEASE PARTY SET LIST
Homegrown
Family Table
Keep Me In Mind
Roots
My Old Man
Chicken Fried
Long Haul
Colder Weather
Real Thing
Your Majesty
Whipping Post (The Allman Brothers cover)