It’s official, finally. DeLuna Fest has added Zac Brown to its line-up….which may have been the worst-kept secret on the local music scene.
The Independent News brought Zac to Pensacola in 2007 for its Hawkshaw Music Festival. At the time, few locals knew him. Michelle Sarra, who handled our concert line-up and helped us put on the show, had found out from her buddies in the music industry that Brown was hot in Atlanta and on the college scene along the East Coast. The other musician that was getting attention at the time was Corey Smith (BTW is playing the Wharf on June 30). We couldn’t afford both so we took a chance on Zac Brown. The rest is history.
When we signed him, Zac had just gotten Keith Stegall, a top country music producer who produced Randy Travis, Alan Jackson and Buffett to name a few, to agree to produce his new album, “The Foundation.” He was hoping to sell enough albums to get the attention of a national label.
On December 2, 2009, the album was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Country Album and earned the band the Grammy Award for Best New Artist the next month. It’s sold over 2.6 million copies.
But in May 2007, the Zac Brown Band was still unknown. We put him and his band up in the Paradise Inn. Tom Coady, who is now my son-in-law, was their transportation from the beach to downtown Pensacola. He packed the group into Dodge Stratus on Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday night, Zac bought us shots at Seville Quarter and played for free at End of the Alley.
Here is the article Duwayne Escobedo wrote about the band: Life Good Today