Chuck Mead is no stranger to — as Blanche DuBois might have put it — depending on the kindness of strangers. As masterminds of the Lower Broad revival in the ’90s, he and his BR549 bandmates perfected the art of playing for the tip jar. In fact, in the band's heyday at Robert's Western World, Chuck could pack up his guitar after the gig, head to the Hermitage Cafe, bypass the BLT and go straight for the 8-ounce rib-eye steak. Any night he wanted.
So it's only natural that he would turn to Kickstarter to help finish his latest album, Back at the Quonset Hut, which is about as cool as a new country project can be. First off, it's all been recorded at the Quonset Hut — the first studio on Music Row, and the site of countless legendary recordings by the likes of Patsy, Johnny, Conway, Loretta and a bunch of other recognizable-first-name types. Second, he's using musicians who played on a lot of those tracks: pianist Hargus "Pig" Robbins, guitarist Harold Bradley, bassist Bob Moore, fiddler Buddy Spicher. In other words, he's making a bona fide honky-tonk record ... at honky-tonk ground zero ... with the honky-tonkingest sons of guns you'll find anywhere. It's the Quonset Hut record, for Hank's sake! Can I make it any plainer?
"Don't you want that warm, fuzzy feeling?" Mead asks in his Kickstarter video. Well, $10 seems like a pretty cheap price for a warm, fuzzy feeling, but that's all it will cost you. Heck, contribute at the $25 level and you're likely to get hot and bothered. Give $100, and you may just need to change your underwear. (And here's a little proof of the high regard folks have for Chuck Mead — as of the writing of this post, he has more contributors at the $250 level than at the $10 level. You don't see that every day on Kickstarter.)
Still, Chuck is about $2,400 short of his $10,000 goal with just three days to go. So it's time to pony up, folks! Among the incentives: $25 gets you an advanced signed copy complete with a mini documentary and photo gallery, $50 gets you all of that plus a signed vinyl copy ... heck, for $1,000 Chuck will give you your own private house concert. But act fast — the deadline is 11:59 a.m. this Friday, Dec. 9.