Album Reviews

BR5-49: One Long Saturday Night, Plus (Bear Family)

br-549 one long

BR5-49
One Long Saturday Night, Plus
Bear Family

Chuck Mead’s band BR5-49 specialized in roots rock and country swing, and for a while, they did it better than anyone out there. Nominally a part of the “alt.country” scene, their self-titled debut album appeared in 1996 on Arista Nashville, and was a critical success. But the secret of the band’s always been its live show, and One Long Saturday Night, Plus captures the band during that era, shortly after the album’s release. Recorded live for a German television show in October of 1996, this is a band that knows to take no prisoners—and leave no heartbeats calm. This set finds them performing the bulk of their debut album, along with some red-hot covers of now-standard country swing classics, including Harlan Howard’s “Heartaches By The Numbers,” the George Strait-popularized “Right Or Wrong,” Carl Perkins’ “Gone Gone Gone,” and Bob Wills’ “Take Me Back To Tulsa.” Also included are four bonus tracks, recorded in Japan during that same tour, and include extra doses of awesomeness with excellent takes of “Knoxville Girl” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.” That they tackle these covers with the same gusto as their original numbers like “Even If It’s Wrong” and “One Long Saturday Night” shows that BR5-49’s mission was simple: have a good time and put on a great show for the nice folks in the audience.  Mission accomplished!If you were lucky enough to have caught them during this era, you know exactly how special this live show will be. If you didn’t, well, here’s a souvenir worth picking up. 

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