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This Is BR549 – 2001 (Lucky Dog)

Reviewed by Joel Bernstein

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CDs by BR549

Everything's up to date in BR549 city. They used to wear retro duds on stage, but not any more. They've left that pass+ Arista label for Sony's hip new Lucky Dog imprint. They've dropped the antiquated hyphen from their name and gone with a sleek streamlined spelling. And while they used to cover songs by old fogies like Moon Mullican and Mel Tillis, now it's The Everly Brothers (mid-'60's edition) and British pub-rocker Nick Lowe.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. BR549 still features the same twangy vocals and lots of fiddle and pedal steel guitar. There's still plenty of quality country songs written by Chuck Mead or Gary Bennett. At times, especially on the first half of the disc, they sound like a twangier version of Lowe's old Rockpile band, but they still keep their old sound on tunes like "Psychic Lady," "Look Me Up" and "A Little Good News." The best of the original songs are Bennett's traditional-styled "While You Were Gone": and poignant "Different Drum." There's also a fine Harlan Howard and Kostas song "Let's See How Far You Get." This is another solid album for BR549.