BR-549 To Release New Album & DVD “One Long Saturday Night”

Neotraditional throwback country band BR549 may be no longer, but fans are going to get to hear (& see) some new music from the band that launched Chuck Mead and Gary Bennett, and helped put the Lower Broadway portion of downtown Nashville back on the map.

Arriving on American shores on November 20th, Germany’s Bear Family Records is releasing One Long Saturday Night—a 23-song CD and companion DVD capturing the original lineup of the band at the height of their powers as they perform classic country hits and a handful of originals live for the German TV show Ohne Filter. The original lineup (designated BR-549, with a dash at the time), included songwriters and singers Chuck Mead and Gary Bennett, multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron, drummer “Hank” Shaw Wilson, and bassist Smilin’ Jay McDowell. The CD also includes four tracks from a concert in Japan the band played the week after.

BR-549 signed to Arista Nashville in 1995 after taking Lower Broadway by storm. The band played a now legendary residency at Robert’s Western World,\ at a time when the area near the Ryman Auditorium was completely run down. The enthusiasm of bands like BR-549 helped revitalize the area to the hopping part of town it is today. “We saw it as our duty to bring the spirit of Robert’s Western World to every place we went,” explains Chuck Mead. “When I see and hear this DVD and CD set, it feels like we actually did that.” 

Along with a slew of covers and songs with other renditions already heard on previously releases, One Long Saturday Night includes some new stuff never heard from the band, including a version of Hank Williams’ “Lone Gone Lonesome Blues,” Ray Price’s “Heartache by the Numbers,” Carl Perkins’ “Gone, Gone, Gone,” Carl Smith’s “Go Boy Go,” Hawkshaw Hawkinss “Lonesome 7-7203” and two tunes Bob Wills made popular—“Right or Wrong” and “Take Me Back to Tulsa.” It also includes a previously-unreleased song from Chuck Mead called “Hometown Boogie.”

BR549 was one of the catalysts of the mid to late 90’s neotraditionalist moment, and also included notable members Chris Scruggs and Geoff Firebaugh over its 13 year run. The band released six albums and a few extended plays, and reunited briefly in 2012. Chuck Mead and Gary Bennett went on to launch solo careers, and continue to tour and release records today.

  1. Even If It’s Wrong
  2. Long Gone Lonesome Blues
  3. Heartaches By The Number
  4. Bettie Bettie
  5. Right Or Wrong
  6. Hometown Boogie
  7. Honky Tonk Song
  8. Go Boy Go
  9. Lonesome 7-7203
  10. My Name Is Mud
  11. I Ain’t Never
  12. Little Ramona (Gone Hillbilly Nuts)
  13. Big Mouth Blues
  14. Cherokee Boogie
  15. Ole Slewfoot
  16. Crazy Arms
  17. Gone, Gone, Gone
  18. One Long Saturday Night
  19. Take Me Back To Tulsa
  20. Hillbilly Tramp (live in Kumamoto, Japan on October 21, 1996)
  21. Settin’ The Woods On Fire (live in Kumamoto, Japan on October 21, 1996)
  22. Knoxville Girl (live in Kumamoto, Japan on October 21, 1996)
  23. Sweet Georgia Brown (live in Kumamoto, Japan on October 21, 1996)

Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys Perform for A&E Networks History Channel 'Texas Rising' Kickoff Party

On Monday May 18, 2015 Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys performed for A&E Networks' History Channel 'Texas Rising' Kickoff Party at The Alamo in San Antonio, TX. Performing with Chuck and the band for one song each were very special guests Kris Kristofferson and Jose Feliciano. Check out some of the great photos here:


After leading several popular ‘80s cult bands in and around his hometown of Lawrence, Kansas, Chuck Mead landed on Nashville’s Lower Broadway where he co-founded the famed ‘90s Alternative Country quintet BR549. In 2009, he released his acclaimed solo debut album, Journeyman’s Wager, and toured clubs, concert halls and international Rock, Country and Rockabilly festivals with his band The Grassy Knoll Boys.

Check out ‘Neosho Valley Sue’ right here: