BR549 There’s been a boatload of changes on the country landscape since a rough-and-tumble quintet of hard-core, true-blue pickers set about turning a complacent, soft-around-the-edges and squishy-in-the-middle Nashville on its collective ear in the early-’90s. Adopting the “one-call-gits-all” phone number spouted weekly on TV by portly “Hee Haw” huckster Junior Samples as their moniker, BR549 injected some long-missing energy, self-deprecating humor and true country grit into their refreshing, sprawling revue of rustic roots music. The band’s now-legendary, four-hour-plus romps at Robert’s Western Wear quickly built a rabid fan following and an industry-wide buzz, and the 1996 releases of the LIVE AT ROBERT’S EP and their self-titled full-length CD torched a critical firestorm. Expertly blending Western swing, pub-rock, rockabilly, honky tonk and vintage country pop, BR549 continued their crusade to remind us that a REAL band that may be rough around the edges but PASSIONATE at its core trumps contrived, by-the-numbers slickness every time. website