Picks and Pans Review: Coast to Coast

updated 05/01/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 05/01/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

BR5-49 (Arista)

Famous for getting their start playing gigs at Robert's Western World, a boot-selling bar, BR5-49 dress like extras on Hee-Haw (BR5-49 is a phone number in a skit from the show). But don't let that bother you. Judging by Coast to Coast, recorded live during last year's concert tour, this hard-driving young honky-tonk band is the real deal. There isn't much on country-music radio these days that matches the greasy, down-home flavor of "Tell Me Mama" (sung with gusto by Chuck Mead) and "Better than This" (spit out with bone-dry wit by Gary Bennett). Even stacked up against tunes by country icons Bob Wills and Charlie Daniels, the music written by this band's members sounds heartfelt and authentic. So put on your Stetson and your string tie and get out those dancin' shoes.

Bottom Line: Old-style country served up nice and fresh

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