Zac Brown Band’s ‘Out in the Middle’ Doubles Down on Their Roots [Listen]
Zac Brown Band's "Out in the Middle" doubles down on the band's country bona fides with foot-stomping beat, vocal harmony, true-blue country subject matter and songwriting help from one of the biggest names in the genre, Luke Combs.
The second song on the tracklisting of The Comeback, "Out in the Middle" veers back in the direction of the traditional fare that established ZBB as one of country music's most beloved hitmakers. The group has been known to experiment, with pop and EDM influences dotting their 2019 The Owl album, but here, they return to their roots.
The results are promising. "Out in the Middle" delivers the same rousing, joyful country sound that fans know and love, but it's not a repeat of anything the band has put out in the past. It's also a made-for-the-stage roots anthem, so much so that the band borrowed the track's name for their 2022 Out in the Middle Tour.
When they first released the song, frontman Zac Brown described "Out in the Middle" as "Southern rock storytelling about being country, being proud of what that is and being proud of living a simple life and working hard."
Both the studio version and its live counterpart will be a celebration of the way of life that so many of their fans grew up with, Brown continues.
"It's a tip of the hat to the people who live out in the middle of nowhere and they're happy being there," he adds. "People that live in the city often make fun of country people until they come out and experience it for themselves. Then they really get into it. There's a reason that you stay out there."
Zac Brown Band's "Out in the Middle" Lyrics:
There's an old route two-lane / Taking out past where the radio just can't / Pass a riverbed with a rope swing / And a mailbox painted all John Deere green / The end of a bunch of gravel driveway / Out here doing our own thing...
Out in the middle where hard work meets hard living / Out in the middle where we're grown 'til we're gone, God willing / Just some good ol' boys and some good ol' girls / Hunting red dirt dreams in a concrete world / Getting by on just a little, out in the middle
Come Friday, we come undone / Stay half-lit like the high life neon / Barely hanging on like sheds in the pole barn / You can hear Hank clear 'cross the next farm / City folk say we're crazy / But they ain't never been way...
Out in the middle of nowhere / That's where I want to be / In the old oak shade by the family graves / With the southern ground on me