Top 40 Singles of 2008: Zac Brown Band - "Chicken Fried (#16)

As one of 2008's genuine feel good stories, the Zac Brown Band moved from regional act to Chart toppers with this single.  While it's as polarizing as past hits with tempo and feel-good grooves, the single still stands out as one of 2008's best singles.

To most of America, the Zac Brown Band came out of nowhere but they actually have been working and touring in the southeast for many years having reached a level where they had a choice to make.  They could continue to pack bars and small clubs and sell their self-released CDs to enthusiastic fans or they could jump to the national scene with their acoustic-based country rock.  The band chose the latter and recently saw their debut album get picked up and released by Atlantic Records.  The band also saw their first national single spend two weeks atop the Country charts, a feat not too often achieved in Country music. 

While the selection of this single as one of the years’ top 16 singles is sure to turn a few heads, we have our reasons.  Much like how Sugarland’s “All I Want To Do” was an exercise in unadulterated fun, “Chicken Fried” took that fun-loving, have a good-time to a new level and while the lyrics are somewhat clunky at times, that damn chorus is pure ear candy.  Add on the spirited performances by the band (with Zac Brown’s nylon string guitar guiding the way) and the damn grass-roots way this song took off and we have the makin’ of a genuine song. 

This song may not be on the lyrical level of a “I Saw God Today” or a song like “In Color” but not all songs need to be ‘deep’ to be good or even great songs.  Some songs are just silly, feel-good party songs and that’s exactly what “Chicken Fried” is, a song that will be played in bars by bar bands coast-to-cast for years to come.