Zach Bryan Releases Dave Cobb-Produced Recordings from Studio ‘A’

Ever since November of 2019 when we got fair warning that viral songwriting star Zach Bryan was working with Dave Cobb in historic Studio ‘A’ in Nashville, we’ve been waiting to hear the results. Well now at least two tracks from those sessions have arrived in the form of a new studio version of the song “Condemned” that first appeared on Zach Bryan’s 2019 album debut DeAnn (and ends abruptly in a laughter fit), as well as the song “Hell or High Water” that has previously only existed in video form.

From the jump, Zach Bryan has been setting an incredible pace as an artist that before a few videos of his began going viral on social media in 2019, nobody had ever heard of. Then when he released his debut album DeAnn, he set the independent music world on fire, despite the homespun and lo-fi nature of his recordings.

As a full-time enlistee in the Navy, Zach Bryan is unable to pursue music full time. But squeezing in moments between deployments and twelve hour shifts to pick on strings and write lyrics, he’s become not just one of the most beloved songwriters at the moment, and surprisingly one of the most prolific.

Zach Bryan’s Studio ‘A’ Recordings definitely give us a glimpse of what we could get from a more purposeful and polished effort in the recorded context, and picks two quality songs to do it with. But as Zach Bryan fans will be quick to tell you, the fear of super producing his music is it may lose the grit and charm that made it so viral and infectious in the first place. It’s a small sample size, but Dave Cobb and Zach Bryan seemed to have found the sweet spot on these two songs.

Zach Bryan told Saving Country Music last May around the release on his album Elisabeth, “I legitimately work 12 hours a day, every day besides the weekend, so the ‘rough around the edges’ sound kind of came from a lack of time, not a disrespect to proper releases. I didn’t work with Dave Cobb [on ‘Elizabeth’] because I couldn’t get the leave from the Navy to record a full fledged record with him the ways I wanted to. That was all, Cobb and I are still close and he is still willing to record a record with me, but time restraints have kept us from it.”

Zach Bryan also released an EP called Quiet, Heavy Dreams in late 2020 that included a slightly more produced sound. Recorded in the same horse barn where Elisabeth was cut, Eddie Spear known for engineering and producing on albums from folks like Chris Stapleton, Cody Jinks, Lori McKenna, and Brent Cobb worked with Zach. Originally from Oklahoma, Zach Bryan is currently stationed in Washington State.

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