Chicken Fried (Album)
Label: Home Grown/Big Picture/Atlantic
With his sandy voice and heartfelt writing, Zac Brown represents an instantly familiar junction in pop music, blending new Nashville, old Buffett and chorus-driven '90s roots rock. Warmly patriotic, buoyant and catchy, The Foundation doesn't look to invent an audience as much as serve one already existent -- the Gen X soccer moms and dads with a taste for Hootie, Dave Matthews and Kenny Chesney. Beyond the instantly likable "Chicken Fried," tunes like "Jolene" (not the Dolly Parton song) and "Toes" add plenty of depth to the year's most promising genre-bending act.