Zac Brown Band's 10 Best Songs: Critic's Picks

Danny Clinch
Zac Brown Band

One of the biggest success stories in country music over the past decade has been that of Zac Brown Band. Their first four albums have all been certified Platinum -- and they have also racked up six Platinum singles, as well. Their music ranges from traditional country to rock & roll, and lyrically, the band can mix it up as well. Some of their songs are beautiful and poignant, but at the same time, they have a definite flair for a song with a joyful bounce.

Taking a look at the Zac Brown Band song catalog, we tried to pick a mixture of everything that the group has done so well in the past ten years. From salutes to their native southland to the pains of growing up -- and apart, they run the emotional gamut. Here’s ten moments that are sure to top any fan’s lists of great Brown moments!

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10. Zac Brown Band - "Free" 

The band wrapped up their 2008 debut album with this groove-infused number that earned Brown & company a Grammy nomination. An alternate version of the video for this track paid tribute to the men and women of the United States military. However, Brown was inspired by the beauty of another country when he penned the song, as he was watching the sunrise over Mt. Warning while in Australia.

9. Zac Brown Band - "Whatever It Is" 

The 2009 follow-up to "Chicken Fried" was a tribute to the significant other in Brown’s life -- allowing him to tell her that she was special. True to his straight-ahead style, the song didn’t use a lot of flowery words or expressions to profess his affection, but whatever "it" was….she had it, and then some!

8. Zac Brown Band - "My Old Man"

The band’s most recent top ten hit is an emotional tip of the hat to Brown’s father and the support and impact that he made in his life. The band released a YouTube video that showed each member with their father. After the musical diversity of 2015’s Jekyll + Hyde, this song was the perfect lead in to this year’s excellent Welcome Home album. 

7. Zac Brown Band - "Goodbye In Her Eyes"

A 2012 chart-topper that represented one of the more sophisticated arrangements of the band’s more country efforts. The pain-drenched ballad was co-written by Americana songstress Sonia Leigh.

6. Zac Brown Band - "As She’s Walking Away" 

One of 2010’s biggest radio hits paired Brown with his fellow Georgian Alan Jackson. A straight-forward lyric about a man encouraging another to pursue a woman in a club, because regret is a powerful thing. Jackson’s character seemed to be the one with the wisdom in the song, and fans helped to make this Zac Brown Band song one of their finer moments.

5. Zac Brown Band - "Chicken Fried" 

Talk about a strong start out of the gates. In 2008, the band enjoyed their first taste of success with a song that was written over the course of a few years. Originally, the song was a salute to all things southern, but after the 9/11 attacks, Brown added the patriotic-leaning third verse. All told, it proved to be a debut to remember -- selling close to five million copies!

4. Zac Brown Band - "Colder Weather" 

Released during the winter months of 2010-2011, this song paid tribute to the lonely lifestyle of a demographic that hadn’t been catered to as strongly in song over the past few years -- the truck driver. The earnest and heartfelt lyrics about a man on the road missing his love kept the radio waves warm through the frigid months.

3. Zac Brown Band - "Keep Me In Mind"

 A true party song, this fun Zac Brown Band song hit the top of the charts during Christmas week of 2011. A plea to a woman for some a chance to win her affections -- should she tire of her current relationship, this hearty number owed its’ success as much to it’s catchy melody as it did it’s lyrics. 

2. Zac Brown Band - "Toes"

The 2009 hit was nothing lyrically heavy at all -- an energetic story about a fun trip to Mexico where the liquor and the women flowed freely. The lead character winds up running out of money, and is forced to return home to Georgia, but finds that happiness can be had wherever you might be! 

1. Zac Brown Band - "Highway 20 Ride" 

Band member Wyatt Durette took the lead in writing this bittersweet addition to the Zac Brown Band catalog about the drives he would make from Atlanta to Augusta to pick up his son from his wife for the weekend. Brown helped him finish the song, which struck a chord with many mothers and fathers who went through the same emotionally grueling process every fourteen days or so.