Like many artists, Wyatt Durrette found his inspiration as a child. Listening to country and bluegrass music with his father, young Wyatt connected to something in the rhythm and vibrations of music and a sound that became inextricably tied to his childhood. At age eleven, Wyatt tried his hand at adding to that soundtrack by writing his first song.
Wyatt’s interest in music continued into his college years where his influences expanded to Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, The Eagles and Steve Miller. But coming from a large Virginian family – he is one of eight children – Wyatt understands the importance of roots and so he held onto his by combining the country/bluegrass music of his past with the island music of his present, creating the unique sound in his songs.
While bartending and managing in the local bar scene, Wyatt eventually settled in Atlanta, GA where he managed The Dixie Tavern. It was at this local Atlanta hangout where Wyatt met Zac Brown who was part of The Dixie’s weekly entertainment. The two have been writing songs that have been entertaining and inspiring fans ever since. Wyatt’s collaboration with Zac has resulted in a collection of songs that celebrate life and the simple joys of living...and what a record-setting collection that is. Forty total song collaborations led to twenty two million singles sold, eight million albums sold and twelve #1 hits, to be exact.
Hot off the heels of a Grammy win for the Zac Brown Band as “Best New Artist,” the band made history as the first artist to achieve four #1 songs in a row from a debut album—all four of these songs co-written by Wyatt, including #1 platinum hits “Chicken Fried,” “Toes,” as well as “Whatever It Is,” and “Highway 20 Ride.” The number “1” has been a recurring number for these songs, reaching top status on numerous charts including Billboard, iTunes, Mediabase, R&R/BDS, CMT and GAC. With Zac Brown Band’s debut album, The Foundation, surpassing two million in sales, this album has amassed a staggering eight million in digital sales to date, as well as a Billboard Top 20 Album of 2010.
Wyatt was also presented with the incredible honor of the CMA Triple Play Award, as “Chicken Fried,” “Whatever It Is,” and “Toes” were all chart topping hits within a twelve month period. Zac Brown Band’s second major label studio album You Get What You Give, is another winning collaboration, with Wyatt co-writing eleven of the fourteen and repeating the magic of another four #1 songs including singles “As She’s Walking Away” featuring Alan Jackson, “Knee Deep” featuring Jimmy Buffett, “Colder Weather” and “Keep Me In Mind”. Released in September 2010, this album followed the same path of success, garnering a #1 Billboard Top 200 and Country album, another Grammy win for the group, as well as becoming certified Platinum. Wyatt also received Grammy and Academy Award nominations in 2010 for “Where The River Goes”, a song written for the motion Picture Footloose. 2012 brought the release of Zac Brown Band’s third major label studio album Uncaged and unbelievably, Wyatt’s second CMA Triple Play Award for “Highway 20 Ride,” “As She’s Walking Away,” and “Colder Weather.” Uncaged continued the sensation winning Best Country Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards. With Wyatt co-writing every song but one on this album, it hit #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart as well as #1 on the US Billboard Top Country Albums chart, with over one million records in sales. Two years later in 2015, Jekyll + Hyde was released, marking Zac Brown Band’s fourth major label studio album. This album had Wyatt’s touch on it with co-writing on eleven tracks, including “Heavy Is The Head” featuring Chris Cornell. This album debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 album chart, making it Zac Brown Band’s third #1 album on the Billboard 200 chart. Furthermore, the song “Homegrown” appearing on this album and co-written by Wyatt, was named Song of the Year by SESAC in 2015.
Just as Wyatt’s musical roots can be traced back to memories with his father, so too can the music he creates today. Now a father himself, Wyatt’s writing is influenced by the love he has for his children. Knowing how one song can make a difference in someone’s life, he strives to make music that touches you deeply, yet hits you like a warm tropical breeze. They just make you feel...good.