Since 1991, Country music's most popular duo, Brooks & Dunn, has sold more than 22 million albums. During the past 12 years, they've also won the Country Music Association's Vocal Duo of the Year award a record 10 times.
Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn have been called the "heavyweight honky-tonk champions of the late-20th century." But, Brooks & Dunn return to their diverse musical roots on their latest release, Red Dirt Road.
Brooks & Dunn's eighth album, Red Dirt Road, is a mix of Country, soul, gospel, rock and bluegrass.
Kix Brooks was raised in Louisiana, where he was influenced by blues and traditional Country styles of the Delta region. Ronnie Dunn grew up in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and brings to the duo his love for rock, soul, gospel and rhythm and blues.
Brooks & Dunn burst onto the Country scene in 1991 with a string of Number One singles. Their honky-tonk hits include Brand New Man, Boot Scootin' Boogie and Ain't Nothing 'Bout You. In all, the duo has topped Billboard's Country chart 17 times.
Brooks & Dunn say the time was right to reflect on their pasts and expose their musical roots. And, they feel they've reached a point in their career where fans will accept a new direction in their sound.
Kix Brooks, who normally handles harmony vocals, sings lead on five of the tracks, including Memory Town. Reminiscent of Bruce Springsteen's early-1990s sound, Brooks wrote the song with Rafe Van Hoy.
Unlike any previous Brooks & Dunn cut is the album's hidden track Holy War. In it, Ronnie Dunn takes a shot at televangelists and articulates the duo's position against religious bigotry.
One prominent New York City music critic feels Red Dirt Road is the best Country album of 2003. Fans seem to agree. The collection debuted at Number One on Billboard's Country chart by selling more than 114,000 copies its first week out.
"It's really humbling for us to write something so personal and see people respond like this, both at the shows and their record stores," says Ronnie Dunn.
Speaking of shows, Brooks & Dunn just wrapped up their 3rd annual Neon Circus and Wild West package tour, which also featured appearances by Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Aaron Lines and Jeff Bates.
The duo will soon kick off another headlining tour that includes a performance at Willie Nelson's Farm Aid benefit concert in Columbus, Ohio on September 7. Also on their itinerary is a stop in Muskogee on November 20, when Ronnie Dunn will be inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame.
The title track and debut single from Red Dirt Road recently peaked at Number 2 on the Country chart. A brand new single has just been released. It's an uptempo tune with a classic rock edge called You Can't Take The Honky Tonk Out Of The Girl.