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Put on a hillbilly suit, hit the road

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Chuck Mead has become a pro at juggling all of his jobs. From fronting the country outfit BR4-59 to being the musical director for Broadway’s “Million Dollar Quartet,” Mead seems to have it all down – for now.

The country singer has just released his second solo album and will be heading out on a short – yet sweet – tour.

“I have more than I can handle right now, but I’d rather stay busy,” he says during a recent phone interview from his New York City hotel room. “I have to get back to my hillbilly persona for this tour.”

Chuck Mead
WHEN: 9 p.m. Thursday, March 22
WHERE: Low Spirits Bar & Stage, 2823 Second NW
HOW MUCH: $10 at www.holdmyticket.com or 886-1251

With the release of his second album, “Back at the Quonset Hut,” Mead wanted to do something special – and he got his wish. He was able to record at Quonset Hut in Nashville, Tenn.

The recording studio is the same place where artists such as Ray Price, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Tammy Wynette, Simon & Garfunkel, Roger Miller, Patsy Cline, Clyde McPhatter, Gene Pitney, Bob Dylan, George Jones and Johnny Horton all recorded in its heyday before it went dark in 1982. It was then donated to Belmont University’s music program, which restored it to its original glory.

“I wanted to make the record the old way, with all the musicians playing together in one room, so it’s a musical performance instead of piecemeal recording. We decided it would be perfect to record my classic country record at the Hut – the quintessential Nashville studio – with Belmont students helping,” he says. “I liked the idea because I could record the way I wanted, and at the same time, expose young engineers to a way of recording that maybe they’re not used to. The main thing, though, was to make sure that the record didn’t become a museum piece. A good song is eternal, and I wanted to take the eternal spirit of the songs and show how they were still vital today.”

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