BR5-49 know where the gems are found when it comes to digging out old material. They gained their street rep by transforming Nashville's downtown honky tonk scene into a hopping place that draws a blend of punks, hipsters, frat kids, tourists, and drunks; with Live at Robert's, the band make their first major national move by providing a glimpse of their vibrant, all-night live show. Anyone who has danced through one of the quintet's sets at Robert's Western Wear -- where the band have played for tips for five hours a night, four nights a week for the last two years -- will recognize the chilling version of the Stanley Brothers' "Knoxville Girl" and the go-for-broke take on Johnny Horton's "Ole Slewfoot." But the live, six-song EP also displays their knack for novel originals, including the rumbling boogie of "18 Wheels & a Crowbar," the soiled innocence of the Bettie Page tribute, "Bettie Bettie," and the crafty wit of the crowd favorite, "Me 'n' Opie (Down by the Duck Pond)," which finds Opie, Goober, Barney, and Otis hitting the homegrown while hiding out from Andy and Aunt Bea. It's the song that explains everything.
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AllMusic Review by Michael McCall