Music

Zach Bryan Recruits Matthew McConaughey for Cinematic ‘Nine Ball’ Video

The actor stars as a flawed father who teaches his son how to play — and win at — pool

Zach Bryan is celebrating his Grammy win with a new music video, starring one of his heroes.

On Monday, the country songwriter released the visual for “Nine Ball,” which casts Matthew McConaughey as the drunk gambling father that Bryan sings about on the track, off his Boys of Faith EP.

The Matthew Dillon Cohen-directed video follows McConaughey’s character and his young son through time as the father places bets on his kid’s improving billiards ability at a dive bar. “My father is a betting man/But I got myself a steady hand,” Bryan sings. He’s sitting in the corner with a six-pack of Corona/Betting that his son’ll win again.” (McConaughey opts for whiskey instead of the beers.)

The video shows McConaughey teaching the son how to play pool, who becomes more of an expert over time. But as the little boy grows older, the dad becomes more of a drunk. The clip ends with McConaughey and the son walking out of the bar (the Sagebrush in Austin) following an intense fistfight after the pool shark loses a game.

Bryan teased the music video last week by sharing a movie poster. “Coming soon and written with care,” Bryan wrote in the caption. In January, he posted a behind-the-scenes photo with McConaughey on set.

“Thank you for being so kind and open-hearted these past few days,” he wrote then, “for all the advice and believing in something I cared enough to write about. You’ll always have a friend in me and for once it was an honor to meet a hero.”

“Nine Ball” was featured on Bryan’s September 2023 EP Boys of Faith, which included “Sarah’s Place” with Noah Kahan and “Boys of Faith” with Bon Iver. The five-song project was a follow-up to the singer’s self-titled LP, which dropped in late August.

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On Sunday night, Bryan won the Grammy for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “I Remember Everything” featuring Kacey Musgraves. He was also nominated for Best Country Song and Best Country Album.

Bryan is set to have a massive 2024. The singer will headline festivals such as Hangout Fest and Bourbon & Beyond and embark on a headlining tour in March.

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