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BR5-49 Try the Country Mainstream
BR5-49 have opened concerts for the likes of Bob Dylan and the Black Crowes. Now the alt-country favorites are trying a different tack: joining such country superstars as George Strait and Alan Jackson on Strait's Country Music Festival.

"The best thing for us out of this will be to be in front of more of a mainstream country crowd than we usually see," said the group's Gary Bennett. "George [Strait] is the most established country artist today, and probably has the most fans, so it'll be great for us."

Their next album, he said, will be a little different too -- not commercial but not anti-commercial, either. They're recording with Dixie Chicks producer Paul Worley, and Bennett said the result may surprise some people. The group has recorded the Everly Brothers' 1965 single "The Price of Love," and it will probably be the first single off their upcoming album.

"I think this record will have the most potential for pleasing a lot of people than anything we've done," said Bennett. "There were times earlier when we were a little too staunch. It wouldn't have hurt us to work with them [the record label] a little. We feel like we have a better shot this time. We just have to give them a little more to work with."

He said that for the album's photo shoot; the sartorially distinct group acceded to one commercial concession. "You're gonna hate this -- we had an image consultant. She came to our houses and went through all of our clothes and went and bought more for us."

The group's tour kicked off Wednesday (March 21) in Jacksonville, Fla., with a club date. They'll hook up with the Strait tour on Saturday (March 24) at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., and they'll wind their solo tour around the Strait dates.

BR5-49 tour dates as provided by their publicist (George Strait festival dates are asterisked *):

March 22 -- Orlando, Fla. @ Sapphire Supper Club
March/23 -- Tallahassee, Fla. @ Cow Haus
March/24 -- *Tampa, Fla. @ Raymond James Stadium
March/25 -- *West Palm Beach, Fla. @ Mars Music Amphitheater
March/30 -- *Salt Lake City, Utah @ The Westerner
March/31 -- *Phoenix, Ariz. @ Sun Devil Stadium
April 1 -- *Las Vegas, Nev. @ Las Vegas Motor Speedway
April 7 -- *New Orleans, La.A @ Superdome
April 8 -- *Little Rock, Ark. @ War Memorial Stadium
April 20 -- Birmingham, Ala. @ Zydeco
April 21 -- *Columbia, S.C. @ Williams--Brice Stadium
April 22 -- *Atlanta, Ga. @ Turner Field
May 2 -- Anaheim, Calif. @ House of Blues
May 3 -- West Hollywood, Calif. @ Key Club
May 5 -- Las Vegas, Nev. @ Riviera Hotel & Casino
May 12 -- *Kansas City, Kan. @ Arrowhead Stadium
May 13 -- *Maryland Heights, Mo. @ Riverport Amphitheatre
May 8 -- Neenah, Wis. @ Automatic Slim's
May 19 -- *Milwaukee, Wis. @ Miller Field
May 20 -- *Pittsburgh, Pa. @ Post-Gazette Pavilion @ Star Lake
May 24 -- Cleveland, Ohio @ Beachland Ballroom & Tavern
May 25 -- Indianapolis, Ind. @ 8 Seconds Saloon
May 26 -- *Tinley Park, Ill. @ New World Amphitheatre
May 27 -- *Louisville, Ky. @ Papa John's Cardinal Stadium
June 7 -- Houston, Texas @ Fitzgeralds
June 8 -- New Braunfels, Texas @ Gruene Hall
June 9 -- *San Antonio, Texas @ Alamodome
June 10 -- *Irvine, Texas @ Texas Stadium
July 9 -- Calgary, Alberta @ Calgary Stampede
August 2 -- Camrose, Alberta @ Big Valley Jamboree
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