No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.
And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.
The Tequila Songbirds have become just as beloved as about any group around these parts. And how could they not?
Featuring a revolving cast of the Sooner State’s most badass female performers, it’s a power hour of some of the best songwriting coming out of central Oklahoma. Sure, they might not technically be family, but they are clearly a band of sisters all the same, bonded by the same brand of whiskey running through their veins.
"Overproduced" is a term thrown around all too indiscreetly nowadays, usually applied when the thing that sticks out about a song or album is how it sounds rather than how it is constructed. Yet some of the most compelling albums ever crafted embodied a certain aesthetic that was just as skillfully and meticulously put together as any Bob Dylan or Miles Davis record — which is to say production is as crucial to our enjoyment of music as much as anything else; it's also the most overlooked.
Indie rock has been in a good place as of late. Not caring about being cool is the new cool, and a couple of dudes on guitar, bass and drums can make catchy, earworm songs without being armed to the gills with computer software and vintage synthesizers.
Zac Brown Band with Nic Cowan 7 p.m. Thursday Chesapeake Energy Arena 100 W. Reno chesapeakearena.com 602-8700 $32.95-$86.25
C. Taylor Crothers
When country rock’s Zac Brown Band looked to record a follow-up to 2008’s platinum-selling smash, The Foundation, they heeded the advice of Les Brown, shot for the money and landed a pair of stars.
“I remember when Zac had these songs, he was like, ‘Jimmy Buffett is going to sing on this track, and Alan Jackson is going to sing this.’ We were like, ‘OK,’” vocalist and fiddler Jimmy De Martini said. “He has this way of making things happen when he’s really motivated to make it work.”
More than steady phone calls netted the group such high-profile guest spots on You Get What You Give, its second major-label effort. Zac Brown Band’s mantle has filled with gold statues from the Academy of Country Music, Country Music Association and the Best New Artist Grammy in 2010, despite having formed in 2002.
“We were the Best New Artist, eight years in the making,” De Martini said. “We realized as far as it goes nationally, we were new to everybody.”
The group started garnering attention on the heels of The Foundation, anchored by the hit “Chicken Fried.” However, more than mere country crowds dug the Atlanta-based outfit. A healthy sampling of Southern rock, folk and even a bit of jam band and island rock help.
“It’s what we do. It’s our sound. We hit on all styles of music and just make it the Zac Brown Band way,” De Martini said. “We never had intentions of becoming a Nashville-style country band. We were just doing what we liked, and we’ve never compromised on the music we like to play.”
Zac Brown Band recently wrapped up studio sessions on its next disc, with an eye toward a summer release. Although scant on details, De Martini promises it won’t disappoint.
“We seem to click even more,” he said. “That’s an extra three years of playing together, and we are just that much better.”