Record Review - 4 October 10 2001

Some things change, some things stay the same. Nashville's BR549 have been around for a while now. And even though they've reached a level of success that many artists would give their left arm for, they've never quite found mainstream acceptance.

Well, after years of hard work and perseverance, the band has made some changes. Gone are the vintage clothes and the hyphen in the name. Also gone from the new This Is BR549 are the band's trademark classic country covers.

But some things remain. Still present is the band's ability to turn a cover tune into something brand new, as in their takes on Nick Lowe's "Play That Fast Thing (One More Time)" and Anne Murray's "A Little Good News." The band's originals — often the weakest link on their previous albums — have made a leap in quality. While still focusing on the rough and rowdy themes found in traditional honky tonk, writers Gary Bennett and Chuck Mead have improved their lyrics.

By all accounts, BR549 have grown up a bit.

BR549 plays Thurs., Oct. 11, at the Cotton Club.??