Zac BrownIt's been 13 years since the Zac Brown Band began touring ... so when frontman Zac heard they were nominated for a Best New Artist Grammy, he grabbed his wife and three kids, and kicked into party mode in their living room.

"I was home with my family watching TV when they announced the nominations," Zac tells PEOPLE. "And we just danced! Our kids are 3, 2 and 2 months, so they're a little too young to understand, but they were still dancing around with us!"

The 11th of 12 kids, the Georgia native says he was bombarded with congratulatory text messages from his very large, "very proud family."

Best known for their breakthrough No. 1 smash, 'Chicken Fried,' the band is also nominated for Best Country Performance and Best Country Album. Obviously, life on the road is quite different for the band these days, compared to their humble beginnings, but Zac does admit he sometimes misses playing the smaller clubs.

"I do miss the intimacy that you have with the fans while playing in bars," he says. "And I miss staying up all night in strangers' living rooms, sitting around playing music!"

So, is there anything he doesn't miss? "Other people's cigarettes -- I don't miss that!" he says with a laugh.

Looking down the road to Grammy night, Zac is already thinking about what to do with that prized statuette, should he win -- because he's never felt right keeping any award he might win. "I don't like to keep awards and stuff -- I'd rather give them to friends and people who've helped me along the way. But a Grammy ... I may have to hang onto. I'll keep it down in my man cave!"

The 52nd Annual Grammy Awards will be telecast on CBS on Jan. 31.