Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Chuck Mead - Journeyman's Wager

Chuck Mead - Journeyman's Wager
Thirty Tigers Records

Track List: Out On The Natchez Trail, Gun Metal Gray, She Got The Ring (I Got The Finger), Albuquerque, Up On Edge Hill, I Wish It Was Friday, A Long Time Ago, After The Last Witness Is Gone, In A Song, Old Brown Shoe, No Requests

This is the debut solo album of Retro hillbilly Chuck Mead, one time headfront-man of the inspirational honky tonk band, BR549. Or BR5-49 as they were before the marketing guys who guided them decided that the reason they weren't making it big time was because of the hyphen, not the fact that radio ignored them because they sounded too country. Anyway, the album is here and to be honest the first listen didn't really do it for me. It just sounded like we'd heard it all before. When I returned for a second slice, I realy enjoyed it, perhaps expecting less. The music is everything you'd expect from him, with hints of BR549, a touch of Gram Parsons and plenty of good time. "I Wish It Was Friday" is a fun-time romp that will no doubt be the first single to be ignored. "Old Brown Shoe" is a really nice version of the little-known George Harrison song, a mile away from the throw-away "She Got The Ring". "Gun Metal Grey" is a strange, moody number that may be an acquired taste for some, unlike "A Long Time Ago" which has Mead written all over it.

Highlight for me could just be the atmospheric "Albuquerque". So, a very encouraging album that should please his fans and could find some appeal with non-believers, whoever you mean spirited buggers are.

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