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Putting the wiggle in it

Wren Wertin

If you’re wondering where tourists and locals alike boogie down in ski boots, it’s here. BR549 is coming from Nashville to help with the wiggles. When the spirit says move, they gotta move.

The Street Beat Concert Series is the pet project of the Vail Valley Foundation. They hire Resort Entertainment to find the bands.

“It’s hard to pick a favorite (band),” Diane Moody of Resort Entertainment said. “My birthday is Feb. 19, and Dana gave me a choice. I picked BR549. I worked with them at Westfest a couple of years ago. They’re country western swing with a crazy twist.”



That crazy twist has set tongues wagging in Nashville and beyond. They blend Western swing, pub-rock, rockabilly, honky tonk and vintage country pop, and come out with, well, BR549.

The moniker comes from the “one-call-gits-all” phone number called out every week by Junior Samples on “Hee Haw.” They used to hyphenate their name, but decided to trade in the hyphen “on some new tires for the tour bus.”



The group made a name for themselves with revived classics and original work. Though band members hail from all over the country, they moved to Nashville for one reason: to pursue that idealized, romanticized place of country dreams. The Nashville they discovered was rich with profit, but it wasn’t churning out the soul-steeped songs the boys fell in love with initially.

No matter, they just played the music they loved – and eventually they got to play it together. Now, the group has several albums out, and they haven’t seemed to lose their soul. They may even be on a creative high, judging from the new fire in their line-up shifts.

As guitarist Chuck Mead puts it, there’s only two kinds of music: good and bad. With the distinction firmly implanted in their brains, BR549 is still pushing out incendiary shows that call for butts a-wagging, at the very least.



The down-home feelings of BR549 isn’t the only event on tap at today’s concert. Giveaways have become synonymous with Street Beat. In addition to registering for the BMW Sport, which will be given away at the last concert, attendees can win a wake board, and electronics from Circuit City. Music begins at 6 p.m.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at wrenw@vaildaily.com or phone at 949-0555, ext. 618.


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