For the good of the Union

As most musicians were happily opening holiday presents containing gift certificates from instrument superstores, David Kucharsky and the rest of the Union were celebrating the much more coveted gift of radio airplay.?

According to Nelson Wells of Athens-based radio promotion firm Team Clermont, which is handling the CD, 74 stations across the country added the band's new album, To Be Good at Something, to their playlists Dec. 12, less than a month after its release. CMJ, the college radio trade magazine, reports that the Atlanta band's third album was added more than Weezer, Rage Against the Machine and Cypress Hill.?

"That's the second-highest number of adds nationwide," says Kucharsky. It's an impressive statistic, given the size of Team Clermont and The Union's label, Athens' Ghostmeat Records. Only the CD by Australian band the Living End, released on world powerhouse Time Warner's Reprise label, ranked higher.?

The Union's strength, of course, lies in the quality of the CD. The David Barbe-produced collection is a winning campaign through several fields of music. Gritty paint-peelers fight side-by-side with low-fi acoustic tunes all anchored by the charmingly reedy warble of Kucharsky, backed by Jay Coyle, Chad Johnson and Charles Spoelstra.?

Wells expects the CD's strong debut will be noted by large indie labels, which may lead to even greater exposure for the band. While Kucharsky takes it in stride, saying, "We're just delighted to be getting played," it seems To Be Good at Something is, in terms of the band's music-making abilities, a self-fulfilling prophecy.