NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Describing the new Zac Brown Band album is anything but simple.
"It's your basic country-Southern rock-bluegrass-reggae-jam record," Brown joked.
"Uncaged" is out July 10 and Brown says its 11 tracks further push the boundaries of what fans can expect from the Atlanta-based band.
Brown wanted to keep most of the surprises on the band's follow-up to 2010's "You Get What You Give" under wraps in a Tuesday afternoon phone interview.
He said the group has added Daniel de los Reyes, a percussionist who's worked with Earth, Wind & Fire, Sting and Jennifer Lopez among others. His addition to the already existing rhythm section of bassist John Driskell Hopkins and drummer Chris Fryar has allowed the band to expand its sound into new territory.
For instance, Trombone Shorty and the New Orleans star's horn section will make a guest appearance on "Overnight," ZBB's first shot at straight-up R&B.
"They've really got to be smart about how they play so it doesn't get too busy," Brown said of the band's rhythm section, "but it really creates a new kind of pulse within the band."
Finding that pulse was an important part of the new album. Brown said a tour through England with Kings of Leon got the band thinking about arrangements and finding the groove — then sticking with it. Band members also riffed on their mutual love of U2, looking for songs that resonates in arenas and stadiums.
"It's really about making people dance," Brown said. "You just don't let them go. There's a lot of songs on the record that when we play them live we'll extend out long. But it's really about just grabbing people in that pulse and then not letting them go that entire song."