Perhaps because it has such a deep, rich heritage, country music should have more room for bands that honor that tradition. Well, score one for Hank's team. BR5-49 (the phone number for Junior Samples's used car lot on TV's Hee Haw) broke through in 1997 and is the perfect antidote to the “new country” artists whose music is more pop than country. Lead vocalists Gary Bennett and Chuck Mead trade off on songs that plumb various country music styles and off-shoots. Western swing gets a nod with “Little Ramona (Gone Hillbilly Nuts).” “One Long Saturday Night” is solid rockabilly and “Chains of This Tow” is pure Tex-Mex.
— John Hassan