The tornado alarms were blaring in Nashville over Memorial Day weekend, and there I was without my umbrella. Fortune, however, was on my side, and I was just around the corner from Robert's Western World. Robert's is the birthplace of BR5-49
, the hillbilly cutups who kept traditional honky-tonk alive in Music City back in the dark days of the early '90s when a song about drinking too much or feeling lonely was hateful to the Nashville recording industry. Sadly, there was no BR5-49 that night, only some unknown rockabilly trio whose antics smacked of an off-off-Broadway revue compiled for Tammy Wynette-obsessed drag queens. In spite of the weather, the line to get out was bigger than the line to get in. It was a sad night. I would have gladly gotten blown to Oz with BR5-49 playing some old, nearly forgotten weeper like "I Overlooked an Orchid (While Looking for a Rose)" in the background. One woman waiting for the restroom declared, "Oh God, I don't want to die here." I might have said just the opposite if BR5-49's Chris Scruggs were in the house covering Webb Pierce like it was 1959. Over the years, there have been a few changes in the BR5-49 lineup, and goodness knows they have recorded a clunker or two (who hasn't?). But they're hands-down one of the finest country show bands you'll ever see. They're bringing their rumbling, vintage sound to Automatic Slim's on Saturday, June 12th, and you should go see them no matter the weather.