The Return of Honky Tonk Heavyweights BR549

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From 'Tangled in the Pines'

Listen: 'Honky Tonk Lifestyle'

Listen: 'No Train to Memphis'

Listen: 'Movin' the Country'

In the mid-1990s, the honky tonk quintet BR549 emerged from Nashville's then-seedy Lower Broadway neighborhood to scale the heights of country music success. The band performed with Faith Hill, Tim McGraw and Bob Dylan and was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2000.


The current lineup of BR549: Shaw Wilson, Don Herron, Chuck Mead, Geoff Firebaugh and Chris Scruggs. Ron Keith hide caption

itoggle caption Ron Keith

But the group lost two founding members to the rigors of touring in 2001 and was then dropped from two record labels. It flew below music industry radar for several years.

Front man Chuck Mead and drummer Shaw Wilson tell NPR's Scott Simon how BR549 re-grouped and set out to record and tour again.

The musicians also reveal the not-so-secret source of the band's name: it was the phone number for Junior Sample's used car lot on the television show Hee Haw.

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