There are some stories you want to be true even if they probably aren't. Take for example, the first meeting between Chuck Mead, who plays the Hi-Tone cafe on Wednesday, May 27, and Gary Bennett his BR549 co-founder. Supposedly these two honky tonk enthusiasts got nice and lubricated in a Nashville bar (as such folk will) and then got into a hard fought contest to see who could sing all the words to more Johnny Horton songs. And in that instant the idea was born to start a traditional honky tonk band in a city that, with obvious exceptions, never had much use for Horton and was trying to distance itself from the twangy sounds that transformed Tennessee's capital into Music City USA.
Watching BR549 rock Robert's Western Wear in the mid-1990s during the band's heyday was like paying a visit to Honky Tonk Heaven. The band played endless sets filled with covers by Webb Pierce, Carl Smith, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Marty Robbins, Hank Williams and the biggest stars of a bygone era. Today Mead brings that same high energy and showmanship to his solo act though much of the newer material—as informed as it may be by the traditional Country music he's associated with—sounds disconcertingly new.
John Paul Keith and his One Four Fives open the show. Check Flyer listings for details.