As Cracker Barrel Old Country Store® observes its 40th anniversary of offering up such dishes as meatloaf and chicken fried chicken, the popular family restaurant chain is pleased to join forces with an artist whose career is now taking off, in part because of the popularity of his song, Chicken Fried! On September 7th, Cracker Barrel will offer an exclusive new version of the Zac Brown Band’s CD The Foundation. In addition to featuring new artwork and two of Zac’s #1 hits, “Chicken Fried” and “Whatever It Is,” this disc includes three previously unreleased recordings, live versions of “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down,” “I Lost It,” and “I Shall Be Released.”
“Working with Cracker Barrel on this project makes for a good fit because they understand the importance of good music and good food,” says Zac Brown, who demonstrated his abilities as a chef at his own restaurant in Georgia where he was known for his homemade sauces and good Southern cooking. Zac still cooks when he can, but devotes most of his time to music. That dedication is paying off – The Foundation just recently went platinum, and the Zac Brown Band was named Top New Group by the Academy of Country Music this year and won the 2009 Country Music Television Award for Breakthrough Video of the Year for “Chicken Fried.”
“I’ve known there was something special about Zac Brown since the first time I heard the band,” says Cracker Barrel’s Vice President of Marketing Peter Keiser. “Each band member is a virtuoso and together they have a sound that appeals to fans of a variety of musical styles including, of course, country music. And Zac, born and raised in a small town in Georgia, is as authentic in his musical renderings as a refreshing glass of sweet tea.”
In addition to making his music available to its guests, Cracker Barrel will also be offering “Southern Ground Grub,” a rub and a sauce for cooking meat that is Zac Brown’s own recipe he has shared with his family and friends through the years, as well as a cookbook of Zac’s recipes. These items will be available in the Fall.
This exclusive new version of The Foundation goes on sale at all Cracker Barrel locations on September 7th and is the latest project in an impressive collection of exclusive music available only at Cracker Barrel. It follows August’s George Jones release of A Collection Of My Best Recollection, May’s release of Montgomery Gentry’s For Our Heroes, which debuted at #5 on Billboard magazine’s Top Country Album Chart, and March’s release of Dolly Parton’s Collectors’ Edition of Backwoods Barbie, which debuted at #9 on that chart. The series also includes a number of exclusive releases in 2008 - November’s release of Bill Gaither’s Homecoming Hymns, the August release of Kenny Rogers: 50 Years, the July release of Ricky Skaggs’ The High Notes and the April release of Aaron Tippin’s He Believed. Over the last few years, Cracker Barrel has released exclusive CDs featuring Alison Krauss & Union Station, Josh Turner, Amy Grant, Sara Evans, and Charlie Daniels.
About Cracker Barrel
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurants provide a friendly home-away-from-home in their old country stores and restaurants. Guests are cared for like family while relaxing and enjoying real home-style food and shopping that’s surprisingly unique, genuinely fun and reminiscent of America’s country heritage all at a fair price. The restaurant serves up delicious, home-style country food such as meatloaf and homemade chicken n’ dumplins as well as its signature biscuits using an old family recipe. The authentic old country retail store is fun to shop and offers unique gifts and self-indulgences.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) was established in 1969 in Lebanon, Tenn. and operates 588 company-owned locations in 41 states. Every Cracker Barrel unit is open seven days a week with hours Sunday through Thursday, 6 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. - 11 p.m. For more information, visit: crackerbarrel.com.