Honky-tonk maestro and OG East Sider Chuck Mead will be kicking off his “Honky-Tonk Tour of Nashville” tomorrow night at East Nashville American Legion Post 82 Hall for the weekly Honky Tonk Tuesday. The seven-day run of shows will promote the release of Mead’s new album Close to Home.
“I thought instead of trying to choose where to do my record release party, I’d play more than one my favorite venues in town,” Mead says.
Starting with the American Legion Hall on June 18, Mead moves it over to The 5 Spot on June 19, heads north to Dee’s Country Cocktail Lounge on June 20, jumps the river to The Nashville Palace for June 21, and brings it all back home to his former BR5-49 stompin’ ground, Robert’s Western World, on June 22. After five days of full-on honky-tonkin’, Mead will finish out the week with a Grand Ole Opry appearance on June 22 and an afternoon in-store performance and meet-and-greet at Grimey’s, on June 23.
The week long run is an Ernest Tubb-style “THANKS” to Mead’s adopted home town even though his new album, Close to Home, was recorded in Memphis. As the Musical Director/Supervisor/Producer of the hit Broadway musical Million Dollar Quartet, Mead filled similar roles for the 2016 CMT television series, Sun Records.
“I really delved into the Memphis music scene when I was living there for four months,” Mead says. “I wanted to get as many local Memphis musicians to play in the series as possible. I got to know a lot of people in the scene, and I’d known (producer and engineer) Matt Ross-Spang for quite a while. He kept talking to me about cutting a record in Memphis.”
Hailed as one of the top producers working in roots music today, Ross-Spang has cut records with John Prine, Margo Price, Jason Isbell and more. Working closely with Ross-Spang, Mead recorded Close to Home at the historic Sam Phillips Recording, the Memphis studio built by Sun Records head Phillips in 1960.
“I’ve recorded in some cool Nashville studios like the Quonset Hut, RCA Studio B, and the Castle,” Mead says. “But there was something almost supernatural about working at Phillips. You could feel Sam’s spirit. This is probably the least-country record I’ve ever made, but at the same time, it’s really a country record and people will hear that for themselves at the live shows.”
For more information on the tour, show times, and the album, Close to Home, visit Chuck Mead’s Facebook page.