Parker McCollum On Zach Bryan’s Insane Career Trajectory: “He Has A Very, Very Long Future And Is Very Good For Country Music”

Zach Bryan Country Music
Jackie Lee Young

Parker McCollum returned to the Whiskey Riff Raff podcast this week, and of course, we had to ask him about superstar Zach Bryan.

Zach released his debut studio album, American Heartbreak, just a few weeks ago, where it debuted at #5 on Billboard’s Top 200 Albums chart and #1 on their Top Country Albums chart. Pretty damn impressive, to say the very least, for a guy who barely does any press and has zero radio play whatsoever.

And of course, like us, Parker was on the Zach train very early on when that first video of “Condemned” went viral back in 2019.

Parker tweeted back then that someone needed to sign Zach immediately, because he recognized right away what kind of talent he was. And since three years have gone by now and Zach’s career has completely blown up, Parker attributed Zach’s meteoric rise to one thing: authenticity.

Well, that… and an incredible knack for great songwriting:

“Yeah, I mean, Zach is a great example, you know, of, the reason he has gotten so big so quickly is because those people who stand out there and buy tickets to his shows believe him.

Like, they believe those songs.

And he’s kinda what we were just talking about, like, you know, it’s a lot of mid-tempo, a lot of real Americana, super string instrument songwriting. Kinda the Tyler Childers thing.”

And because of the insane amount of fan support and the way Zach is already selling tickets like crazy, Parker, who is signed to a major label in Nashville himself, doesn’t see why Zach would ever need to follow that path.

Although, Zach playing the Nashville game is something I don’t think anybody has to worry about…

His raw talent and homespun approach to his music and career is a large part of what helps him resonate with so many people so deeply:

“And it’s so believable, and Zach’s such a good songwriter, man, unbelievable talent at painting a picture… and that’s how you build fans, that’s how you sell tickets, that’s how you build a fan base.

I don’t know what his goals are, but my goals were like, the George Strait level, right? And if I get a quarter of the way there, hell yeah, you know what I mean?

In my mind, it was like, I gotta sign a major record deal to get to where I wanna go.

To be 50, 60 years old and still on that level. If Zach can do that and never sign a major record deal, genius, dude. I mean, kudos to him.”

And while Zach has signed with Warner Records in a partnership with his own Belting Bronco Records, it’s not part of the major label Nashville circle that Parker is referring to.

“I think he has a very, very long future and is very good for country music. And I would like to see the award shows give him a little nod.”

Got a Grammy in his future? We’ll see…

There’s plenty more where that came from, and if you wanna hear about Parker’s first time meeting the King and opening for Eric Church, check out the whole episode here:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock