Getting a Piece of a Favorite
Rick Teverbaugh | July 19, 2009
Throughout my musical life I've been plagued by bands that were under appreciated, at least to my ears. They produced enough good songs that they should have been constantly on the radio and at or near the top of the charts. The groups that come to mind from my earlier days are; The Band, Cracker and one of my all-time favorites, Poco.
More recently and in this general genre, the band that best fits this description was BR5-49. Sure, I know there were Grammy nominations and a lot of critical plaudits. But I think all of the albums should have been gold or platinum and even mainstream country radio should have been playing their songs on an hourly basis.
But alas the group is no more but there are still some components to enjoy instead. One of those is Chuck Mead and his Journeyman's Wager is a disc I just can't seem to get off my player for any length of time at all.
It contains all of the elements that made BR5-49 great. There are songs that are irrepressible toe-tappers like the opening Out on the Natchez Trail. There is great whimsy and irony as on She Got the Ring (I Got the Finger). There is a remarkable cover in George Harrison's Old Brown Shoe. Even an old theme like wanting the work week to be over gets a twist on I Wish It Was Friday when Mead takes us from the present to the very distant past to let us know that it is a condition that has always been in place.
Perhaps there will never be another BR5-49 record. But Mead's recent outing as well as that of Gary Bennett will make that painful fact a little better. If you are a fan of BR5-49, write me here.