This Is BR549

This Is BR549

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by BR5-49
     
 

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BR5-49 comes out firin' with a new label (Lucky Dog) and a revved-up take on music's favorite theme. Love, of course, is the name of that game, specifically the way it electrifies its practitioners or shorts them out. Hard country, western swing, and invigorating -- even menacing -- country rock help BR5-49's Chuck Mead and Gary Bennett get their tales across. Mead's

Overview

BR5-49 comes out firin' with a new label (Lucky Dog) and a revved-up take on music's favorite theme. Love, of course, is the name of that game, specifically the way it electrifies its practitioners or shorts them out. Hard country, western swing, and invigorating -- even menacing -- country rock help BR5-49's Chuck Mead and Gary Bennett get their tales across. Mead's tough-minded album opener, "Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal," is a honky-tonkin' account of a pitiful fellow who can't even get it together enough to commit a felony to support his woman. Bennett offers a couple of sharp-edged observations on affairs of the heart, chief among them the western swing-style tale of a feckless lover, "While You Were Gone." A cover of the Everly Brothers' "The Price of Love" is executed as roiling, harmony-driven, aggressive country rock; the other nonoriginal gem here is a Harlan Howard-Kostas co-penned hard country kiss-off number, "Let's See How Far You Get," rife with stuttering fiddles, swooning pedal steel lines, and a tasty double-string guitar solo underpinning the lyrics' terse warning of instant karma waiting to knock a two-timing ex right in the face. Whether singing originals or covers, though, the BR boys keep it swinging and good natured, even when their women are taking a Pasadena on 'em.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Zac Johnson
Nashville upstarts BR5-49 have become known for their hybrid of old-fashioned Western swing, slick country pop, and punk-infused honky tonk, however, on their fourth release, This Is BR5-49, they start by straying closer to the young country side of the industry. The first half of the album seems to lag behind the beat, not in a lazy, porch-sittin' manner, but in a "prime for a slick CMT video" manner. The first single, "Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal," chugs along passionlessly. Similarly, the distortion-laden and tremolo-heavy cover of the Everly Brothers' "The Price of Love" might work well in concert with some live energy behind it, but on CD it lumps along, in desperate need of a carrot held in front of the horse. The incorporation of pop culture references have worked in the band's favor on their previous albums ("Little Ramona," "Bettie Bettie"), but their social and political commentaries on "Psychic Lady" and "A Little Good News" would get 'em thrown offstage at both Gilley's and CBGB; not because their topics are controversial, but because they are boring. About midway through the album, starting with the Gary Bennett-penned "While You Were Gone" (the record's best cut), they start cookin'. Here, the record steps into the groove and focuses on their familiar pedal steel up-tempo Swing as opposed to the slicker sound dominating the first half. The barn dance toe-tapper "Fool of the Century" would do Bob Wills proud, and the upright bass-led "Look Me Up" is in line with the truly inspired stuff they recorded in their days at Robert's Western Wear. As unfortunate as the first half is, the flip side hides some true gems, making the more cynical country fans wonder if side A was engineered by Nashville suits and side B is more along the band's original vision. Either way, the album is a toss-up, with its share of unfortunate cuts and real winners.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/26/2001
Label:
Sony Mod - Afw Line
UPC:
0696998545625
catalogNumber:
85456
Rank:
16755

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

BR5-49   Primary Artist
Mike Poole   Acoustic Guitar
Paul Worley   Acoustic Guitar
Gary Bennett   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Vocal Harmony
Hawk Shaw Wilson   Percussion,Drums,Vocals
Chuck Mead   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Don Herron   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Dobro,Fiddle,Mandolin,Pedal Steel Guitar,Cello,Lap Steel Guitar
Shawn Wilson   Drums

Technical Credits

Mike Poole   Producer,Engineer
Paul Worley   Producer
Erik Hellerman   Engineer
Beth Kindig   Art Direction
Billiken Johnson   Art Direction

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This Is BR549 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
BR549's latest CD ''This is BR549'' is yet another bold step for a band that has made a livin poking fun at the Country Mainstream while honoring the traditions that once made Country the standard bearer of American Music. This time the boys jumped right into the Mainstream pool with the Dixie Chicks producers and showed the folks of ''radio friendly'' music that they can swim in the shallow end of the pool too and still play with the swingin fun and bravdo that we have come to expect from BR549. ''Too Lazy To Work, Too Nervous To Steal'' is as about as perfect of a catchy little single as you'll find (my 4 year old has been singing it for two days now), ''The Price of Love'' will make you turn up the car stereo LOUD and the crafty cover of Rockpile's ''Play That Fast Thing One More Time'' proves that Don Herron's fiddle is just as potent of a toe tapper as Dave Edmunds guitar. Once again, Gary Bennett and Chuck Mead, with very different styles, showcase some of nashville's best songwriting. Bennett's ''While You Were Gone'' will transplant you right back into Country's golden era when a love song would make you pop open a beer and listen rather than wonder what Faith Hill's hair is gonna look like in the video. Mead's ''Fool Of The Century'' might be the CD's best...It swings as if old Bob Wills himself sat in the session as Mead delivers yet another one of his sweet funny stories. Folks, simply put, this band cooks. The previous BR549 CDs had a real old school sound...some of the best stuff Nashville has done in years. This time, they have pulled a sleight of hand trick and have created a ''Mainstream'' CD but without losing any of the creative pluck and nerve we have come to expect from the boys...look out Country, there's a fox in the henhouse and he's ready to have some fun...