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Little Big Town, a two-man, twowoman group that released the album A Place to Land in November, has a place to land this weekend - Alltel Arena as one of the opening acts for George Strait.

Arkansans' interest should be higher than usual, since one of the four, Phillip Sweet, grew up in Cherokee Village.

The group traces its origins to 1987, when the female members, Kimberly Roads and Karen Fairchild, met at Samford University in Alabama. They eventually made their way to Nashville, Tenn., where they met Jimi Westbrook in 1998 and Sweet a year later.

A self-titled CD came out in 2002 on Monument Records, but the quartet switched in 2005 to the Equity label, which had been started by country singer Clint Black.

The subsequent CD on Equity, The Road to Here, was a road paved with platinum sales, it turned out. By late 2006, the album had sold a million copies, powered by its hit singles "Boondocks," "Bring It on Home," "Good As Gone" and "A Little More You."

"I'm With the Band" is the first single off the new CD, which was praised by The Miami Herald in a Nov. 13 review.

Writer Howard Cohen cited Little Big Town's "richly layered vocal delivery" and said the group echoed "the best elements of the '70s Southern California vocal harmony contingent," going on to compare them to The Eagles and Fleetwood Mac.

All four members have undergone marital changes since forming. Fairchild and Sweet divorced their spouses after the release of the debut CD. Fairchild and Westbrook married each other in May 2006.

Roads married Stephen Schlapman in 2006 and had a baby girl in July. Sweet married Rebecca Arthur in March.

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