The longtime supporters of US troops give an emotional performance of Jason Isbell’s song about the loss of a soldier.
The soulful crooners of the Zac Brown Band are known for writing and performing powerful, lyric-driven songs. On March 23, they appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and took a step back from singing their own original songs to honor the touching ballad “Dress Blues,” penned by singer-songwriter Jason Isbell. The somber tune tells the story of a young soldier that never returns home from war. With descriptive lyrics like “scripture on grocery store signs,” and “sleeping in your dress blues, to “drinking sweet tea in Styrofoam cups,” the song is full of striking imagery and emotion.
In an interview with Indy Week, Isbell talked about writing the song after the death of his former schoolmate and Iraq War veteran, Corporal Matthew Conley. “I remember coming home after Matthew Conley’s death and noticing the American flags lining the highway that was later named after him. That’s what really began the process of that song for me. After that, it was just a matter of searching my memory for more details.”
Zac Brown Band is known for being an avid supporter of the military. They have even been known to forgo the American Country Music Awards to instead play for troops overseas on an USO tour. According to the band’s website, Zac Brown Band teamed up with Ram Trucks in 2010 to launch “Letters for Lyrics”, a National letter-writing campaign to U.S. Soldiers.
The Zac Brown Band is busy as ever and is gearing up for the release of their new album, Jekyll + Hyde, on April 28. Their North American stadium tour will start on May 1 in Nashville. We can’t see what’s next for these southern gentlemen!