With the launch of his record label Southern Ground Artists, Inc., Zac Brown of Zac Brown Band is further tending to his roots in the most organic of ways. The label will narrow its focus and scope by fostering Georgia-based artists and rising stars and will work to develop, introduce and promote these deserving-of-recognition acts. In effect, Brown is hoping to curate Atlanta's version of Memphis' famed Stax label.

"I'd like to think there's a movement coming out of Atlanta that's like [Memphis-based soul label] Stax was, back in the '60s," Brown stated in an interview with The Tennessean. "The Wood Brothers are one of the best live bands you'll ever see, and we just got Sonia Leigh's record finished, and I'm super proud of it. There's Blackberry Smoke coming onboard, and Nic Cowan and Levi Lowrey, and all the people that love our music will love their music, too, I feel confident."

Some of the artists newly signed to Southern Ground, as mentioned above by Brown himself, include Sonia Leigh, whose debut album '1978 December' is due out this September and will feature the single ‘My Name is Money,’ while Leigh and Brown co-wrote the song 'Roaming'; The Wood Brothers are a duo planning to release 'Smoke Ring Halo' on August 2, which boasts 'Shoofly Pie' as its first single.

Blackberry Smoke are performing with Zac Brown Band nationwide this summer and have previously shared the stage with ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, among numerous others, peddling their country rock wares. They will work on a full-length this summer; Levi Lowrey, who co-wrote ZBB's #1 hit 'Colder Weather,' is on a year-long tour in support of his debut album 'I Confess I Was a Fool,' which is out Summer 2011; and lastly, pop songsmith Nic Cowan is currently on the road gaining fans, fast premiering tracks from 'Hard Headed,' also planned as a summer release.

If you'd like to sample some of Southern Ground’s wares for yourself, go here to stream some tunes and try before you buy.

Southern Ground's gears are already turning, as the label has already released a compilation of 11 tracks from ZBB and three of the Southern Ground Artists as part of the 'Letters for Lyrics' campaign. Fans who wrote letters to American service members received the compilation at no charge as part of Southern Ground's collaborative effort with RAM Truck Brand and nonprofit organization Soldiers' Angels. Write a letter to someone serving our country, get free music? That sounds like more than a fair exchange!

We're looking forward to hearing what Zac Brown serves us over the coming months.

Watch Zac Brown Band Perform 'Chicken Fried' at the Grand Ole Opry