You’ve been rockin’ steady for 237 days, road dawgin’ cross country and sharing your product with fans. So what do you do now for relaxation? If you’re Shinedown’s Zach Myers, you head right back out again — with a different band.
When he’s not banging out rock riffs for Shinedown, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Myers teams up with J.R. Moore, Zack Mack and Chris Allen for the acoustic-based band Allen Mack Myers Moore.
“We’re all from the same town, all kind of grew up together and knew each other,” Myers said recently by phone after resting briefly at home from a just completed Shinedown tour.
Moore and Allen were in the Memphis band Ingram Hill, which had the hits “Almost Perfect” and “Will I Ever Make It Home” in early 2000. Myers says that he’s known Zack Mack pretty much his whole life.
“It was this thing that happened organically, with people coming over to write songs, and being a songwriting group then ended up being something more: ‘Well, let’s go play some shows, and see how it goes,’ ” Myers says. “It’s developed its own fan base, and the shows are really fun. It’s very much like a “VH1 Storytellers”-type (of) vibe.
“We do some Shinedown stuff, we have three records out, so we do a lot of our own stuff. We do whatever covers we feel like doing that night. It’s a super laid-back show, four-part harmony, kinda like The Band meets the Eagles — it’s a really cool show.”
There’s a folky side to it as well, like a country version of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. “That’s pretty much the best way to describe it, like a country version of the Eagles,” Myers agrees.
An AMMM show has such an eclectic mix of covers that its hard to categorize, careening from Queen’s “Fat Bottom Girls” to the Band’s “Ophelia” and “The Weight” to Phil Collins’ “In the Air Tonight” to the Black Crowes’ “She Talks to Angels” with stops along the way to pick up U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” and Van Morrison’s “Into the Mystic.”
The set list, or rather, the lack thereof, confounds at least one band member as well as the audience.
“Before J.R. joined the group, we didn’t make any list at all,” Myers says.
The band had a list of songs they knew or played or even had kind of an idea of how they went that was as big as an old-fashioned road map, and they would just pick stuff off the top of their heads.
“But when J.R. joined, he’s kind of a structured young gentleman, so we started making a list pretty much to make him feel comfortable,” Myers says. “But we’d get to about the third song and that list just completely went out the window, which was hilarious to see him scramble to figure out what we’re doing.”
But there’s at least one constant in the cover slots. “Basically, the rule in our band is anything by The Band is fair game,” Myers says. “We pretty much feel free to play any song by The Band at any point.”
But the group is by no means a cover band. The group’s 2012 debut, “Shuffle,” now only available at their live shows; 2015’s “Just South of Moonlight”; and the most recent, “Let It Roll,” released in April, are packed with originals.
The title cut from their latest is bluegrassy, saturated with Zack Mack’s weepy lap steel licks underscoring a countrified Eagles-style vocal track. Elsewhere on the disc, “Hard Times at Hardscramble” sounds like The Band strutting along to a Bo Diddley beat, and “Lost My Heart In Tupelo” sounds like Ricky Skaggs in his country days.
Recorded at a former train station in Memphis, “Let It Roll” brings some new players onboard. Drummer Shawn Zorn joined the band in the studio as well as on the last tour and now plays live with the band.
The group’s previous release, “Just South Of Moonlight,” was recorded there as well, for a warm, homey feeling. “These records are really loose,” Myers says. “We try and record ‘em as old school as you can.”
Fans will get to see more of AMMM this year, thanks to a Shinedown scaleback.
“Shinedown’s kinda taking a break this next year, something that we all need, I think,” Myers says. “We’re all pretty tired. We’re only gonna do 30 shows with Shinedown.”
And when the music stops for good, Myers says he wants his legacy to be more home-centered.
“Being a good dad is where I want my legacy to lie more than anything. As far as music goes, I hope I wrote songs that people enjoyed and can carry with them through whatever situations they’re going through, whatever generation they pass it on to. I just hope we made an impact on people. That’s what my goal has always been.”