BR549 know country music's past well enough that they're not doomed to repeat it, a significant achievement for what started out as a retro cover band on Nashville's Lower Broadway. On their new album, Dog Days, they add pop to bluegrass (via harmonies the Everlys nicked) and put some distance between the honky and the tonk with smoke-ring-light swing, a tough rocker about Leonard Peltier, some Cajun fiddle and a vision of Jesus as a short-order cook. When founder Chuck Mead goes after Dave Edmunds' "A.1. on the Jukebox," he doesn't sound bitter, just comfortably resigned to being one of the best singers to never get that Music Row callback.
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