Reviews

Chuck Mead’s Close to Home


By Brian Rock

Former BR5-49 front man, Chuck Mead finds a new home in Memphis on his fourth solo release, Close to Home. After working on site as the musical director for the CMT series, Sun Records, Mead decided to take advantage of the historic surroundings and record his own material there. The result is an album squarely centered between the studio’s Rock and Country roots. Mead stands astride the genres with one foot firmly planted in Rockabilly and the other in Honky-Tonk.

“Big Bear in the Sky” uses fuzz box guitar and pounding percussion to celebrate the Mi’kmaq tribal legend of the Ursa Major constellation. With a driving backbeat, the song is a turbo charged version of 50s hot rod rock.

Mead keeps that pulsating Rockabilly rhythm rolling on the piano driven, “Daddy Worked the Pole,” the bluesy, “Shake,” and the bust-out rocker, “The Man Who Shook the World.” The latter is a toe tapping tribute to the King of Rock and Roll. Talking about the importance of passing the musical torch from generation to generation, Mead sings, “Shake the hand that shook the hand that made the earth stand still. I ain’t the one but you can carry it on and do with it what you will.”

Mead also passes Country’s musical torch forward on the traditional, “Tap into Your Misery,” the lilting, “There’s Love Where I Come From,” the yodeling, “Better Than I Was,” and the title song, “Close to Home.” All these songs feature prominent steel guitar and lyrics of love and loss. “Close to Home,” especially connects the generations with the lyrics, “And in from the other room, I heard a Hank Williams tune. When he sang that part about a cheatin’ heart, he was talkin’ about me and you.”

With Elvis and Hank in the rearview mirror and Mead’s steady hand on the throttle; Close to Home carries the torch of classic Rock and Country to a new generation of music fans.

chuckmead.com  |  buy  |  fb

Brian Rock

Brian Rock

Brian was raised gypsy style, moving every other year until well after college. As friendships proved to be temporary, Brian found a constant companion in music, wearing the grooves off Beatles and Dylan albums before moving on to Lyle Lovett and Dwight Yokam. Living so often in flux, he has come to value music and lyrics of lasting quality. Not moved by trends or fashion, he is drawn to timeless lyrics and soulful rhythms. Although now settled down, Brian still expresses his gypsy spirit through his writing. He has co-written songs with musician friends he’s met along the way, including several contributions to the 2012 ICMA Album of the Year, Family Album. Brian also writes children’s books and poems, including the Children’s Book Council featured title, The Deductive Detective.
Brian Rock

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