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10/10/2009

The Examiner Reviews Cracker Barrel's Edition of The Foundation

The Zac Brown Band have teamed up with Cracker Barrel Old Country Store to release an exclusive version of The Foundation, their platinum-selling album.



What's different from the original version of The Foundation?

I bet you're wondering why you should buy this version if you have the original. Well, on here there are three brand new live tracks: "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "I Lost It" and "I Shall Be Released." That said, they have removed three of the tracks from the original to make room for the new music. I'm sorry to say that the band's latest Top 10 single, "Toes" is one of the songs removed, along with "Jolene" and "Sic 'Em On a Chicken." I wish they had removed one of the other album cuts and left "Toes" on this version.

This album provides great listening anywhere, but is especially an excellent choice for music to play while you're driving in the car for long distances. The familiarity with the band's two #1 songs "Whatever It Is" and "Chicken Fried" will have everyone singing along. Add to that the great reggae-infused "Where the Boat Leaves From," which is bound to make you want to pack your bags and get a little rest and relaxation in the islands, the lovely ballad, "Free," which has a violin intro, and the uptempo "Different Kind of Fine," and you'll be hitting replay as soon as the last note is played.

The Live Tracks

"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" is a cover originally recorded by The Band, but the version I remember hearing when I was growing up was the version by Joan Baez, and this version is more like The Band's version. It's got a real haunting feel to it.

"I Lost It" is a cover of a song by alt-country artist Lucinda Williams. I'm not familiar with the song, but I like the bands version of it. After listening to a clip of Lucinda's version, I see that the Zac Brown Band's version is a little slower, while Williams' version is more upbeat and folksy.

The final track is the Bob Dylan cover "I Shall Be Released." This has a great country blues feel to it.

Overall, I highly recommend The Foundation, and give it 4 stars out of 5. I would have given it 4 1/2 stars, but the removal of "Toes" brings it down 1/2 star in my rating.

Buy The Foundation

The Foundation Track List

   1. "Whatever It Is"
   2. "Where The Boat Leaves From"
   3. "Violin Intro to Free"
   4. "Free"
   5. "Chicken Fried" Listen to a clip.
   6. "Mary"
   7. "Different Kind of Fine"
   8. "Highway 20 Ride"
   9. "It's Not OK"
  10. "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" (Live) "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" lyrics
  11. "I Lost It" (Live) Listen to a clip. "I Lost It" lyrics
  12. "I Shall Be Released" (Live) "I Shall Be Released" lyrics

October 7, 1:02 PM
Sacramento Country Music Examiner
Shelly Fabian

Read the review on Examiner.com.


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