BR549's third studio album, and its debut for Audium, finds the guys transcending the retro-hillbilly cover band image as a seasoned, lean, roots country machine.

BR549's third studio album, and its debut for Audium, finds the guys transcending the retro-hillbilly cover band image as a seasoned, lean, roots country machine. This Is BR549 shines a spotlight clearly on the band's fine originals, including the boogie-woogie romp of the debut single "Too Lazy to Work, Too Nervous to Steal," the lilting acoustic gem "The Game," and the big twang of "While You Were Gone." Propelled by cool fiddle breaks and some nifty drum work, "Fool of the Century" swings and grooves, while "Different Drum" offers insightful perspective on square pegs. Such covers as the pounding, reverb-drenched take on the Everly Brothers' "Price of Love" and the Harlan Howard/Kostas choice cut, "Let's See How Far You Get," are well-chosen and performed with savvy. Endearing vocal work gently drives "A Little Good News," and the band's quirky humor remains, with references to barroom brawls, beehive hairdos, and bad karma. BR549 is a band that's at the top of its game.—RW

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