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Always Patsy Cline and Lost Highway have desecrated Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium with a Patsy clone and a Hank-alike in country music’s take on Beatlemania!. Just around the corner at Robert’s Western World, however, one can hear BR5-49, a band that serves as a true inheritor of the Ryman legacy. Taking its name from Junior Samples’ phone number on Hee Haw, BR5-49 makes music that has been described as “alternative country,” “hillbilly beatnik,” and “twang-core.” On the quintet’s debut EP, Live From Robert’s, the band performs four “true stories”—originals, that is—and two covers with appropriate rockabilly drive and a reverence for the icons of honky-tonk and hard country. Archtop guitars, upright bass, lap steel, fiddle, and drums provide the musical vehicle for vocalist/guitarists Chuck Mead and Gary Bennett. A typical show (four or five hours without a break) features as many as 100 well-known and obscure tunes by the likes of Webb Pierce, Hank Williams, Johnny Horton, Buck Owens, and Bob Wills. The band respectfully incorporates the influence of these legends into its original tunes as well as its covers, delivering something that sounds refreshingly new yet thoroughly rooted in tradition. As for the “true stories,” “Me ’n’ Opie (Down by the Duck Pond)” describes the debauchery depicted in the “lost episode” of The Andy Griffith Show, and “Bettie Bettie” tells of unrequited love for a porn star. Live From Robert’s is a great introduction to BR5-49, but any recording the band makes will only offer a glimpse of the excitement and energy of a live performance. If you want a lot of twang for your buck, this band is a revelation.—Matt Watson