Chuck Mead & His Grassy Knoll Boys, along with Jim Lauderdale and Jason Ringenberg, bring “The Cosmic Honky-Tonk Revue” to the Beachland Ballroom on July 21. “The Cosmic Honky-Tonk Revue” showcases those at the forefront of pioneering the Rockabilly, Cowpunk, Alt-Country, Roots and Classic Country genres that collectively encompass the current neo-traditional country movement.
Mead is a renowned country music/rock and roll songwriter, producer, music director, musicologist, and is responsible for the renaissance of Lower Broadway and the Global Neo Traditional music movement. Hailing from Kansas, Mead has been entrenched in Americana music for many years. He co-founded the Alternative Country quintet, BR5-49, that released seven albums and was nominated for several Grammys. Mead has released several solo albums, appeared at the Grand Ole Opry over 100 times, co-produced tribute albums to Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings and filled the role of Musical Director/Supervisor/Producer of the Broadway play, Million Dollar Quartet as well as the CMT television show, Sun Records. Chuck Mead’s new album, ‘Close To Home,’ was released in June of this year on Nashville independent label, Plowboy Records. It is the follow up to Mead’s 2015 album ‘Free State Serenade,’ released on the same label. The album was recorded at the historic Sam Phillips Recording Studios in Memphis, TN, and was produced by well-known Memphis recording engineer and producer Matt Ross-Spang.
“I got to know a lot of people in the scene, and I’d known producer Matt Ross-Spang for quite a while. When The Million Dollar Quintet show was on tour, we came through Memphis a couple of times. At night, the cast would record at the original Memphis Recording Service (better known as Sun Studios) and that’s where I first met Matt. He was very young but was the head engineer and really brought the old studio back into shape. I started hanging out with him, and he kept talking to me about cutting a record in Memphis.”
On ‘Close To Home,’ Ross–Spang and Mead still showcased well written and catchy honky-tonk, but also added tinges of blues and rockabilly. Mead notes that “I’ve recorded in some cool Nashville studios like the Quonset Hut, RCA Studio B, and the Castle. But there was something almost supernatural about working at Phillips. You could feel Sam’s spirit.”
“It’s probably the least-country record I’ve ever made,” Mead says, “but at the same time, it’s really a country record.”
All tickets are for general admission and priced at $25.
Tickets can be purchased in person at the Beachland Ballroom, charge by phone at 216.383.1124, select independent retailers, or online, below: