Zac Brown Band Performs “Out in the Middle” with Marcus King at CMA Awards

Midway through the 2022 CMA Awards ceremony, Zac Brown Band took the stage to perform their 2021 single “Out in the Middle.” Though they missed out on the win for Vocal Group of the Year they more than made their mark on this year’s proceedings with a little help from guitar slinger Marcus King.

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The track, taken from their seventh studio album, The Comeback, takes the listener into classic country surroundings: backroads where the radio can’t reach and red dirt dreams run wild. The track sounded every bit as smoky in Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena as it does coming through your headphones.

Brown belted out the chorus: Out in the middle where the hard work meets hard living / Out in the middle where we’re grown ’til we’re gone, God willing / Just some good old boys and good old girls / Hunting red dirt dreams in a concrete world / Getting by on just a little / Out in the middle.

In the bridge, King does what he does best—adding a moody, sultry guitar tone to the mix. Intricately coaxing out a riff, the South Carolina native took the performance to the next level.

Hours before the show, Jimmie Allen pulled out of the performance with the band and King due to an illness. Allen wrote on Twitter, “I was looking forward to performing with my friends @zacbrownband and @realmarcusking at the @CountryMusic Awards, unfortunately, I’m under the weather and won’t be able to. I look forward to watching them and the other performers tonight.”

Despite Allen’s absence, the performance was one of the most memorable from the night—exactly what you’d expect from a CMA vet. Elsewhere in the night were performances from ZBB’s fellow nominees and tributes to Loretta Lynn and Alan Jackson. Find a full list of winners, HERE.

Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

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