Brooks & Dunn. Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn. (Photo Credit: allmusic.com)
Popularly known as a duo, Brooks & Dunn has been considered as one of the best artists to have produced the best music of any genre.
Though Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are no longer an active duo, their music lives on through plethora of classic, poignant, nostalgic hits. Their tandem is simply and truly the best of country music. Hence, the writer has decided to select 10 songs (although ten is not enough) of the duo. These songs are maybe considered as Brooks & Dunn’s defining moment.
So, here are the 10 songs (not in particular order) of Brooks & Dunn that will surely take you back to memories of the past. Make sure you also leave a comment and share to us your favorite Brooks & Dunn song.
Featuring lead vocals from Ronnie Dunn, the song describes the narrator’s childhood encounter with an old man whom he calls “Old Man Wrigley”. The Brooks & Dunn song stood tall at the 2006 CMA Awards, taking home trophies for Single, Song, and Video of the Year.
While it may not be the duo’s biggest dance floor hit, “My Maria” is widely considered Brooks and Dunn’s best and most mature song. This song is about a gypsy woman whose name is Maria who relieves the narrator from problems with which he has been struggling. The unorthodox single selection hit the top for three week in the spring of 1996, and netted the duo a Grammy Award, as well.
She’s Not The Cheatin’ Kind
This hit shares a lot in common with “She Used to be Mine”, except that it takes the story from the woman’s point of view, as a woman, whose man cheated on her, heads out to try to find a one night stand and realizes that isn’t what she’s all about. It was their seventh No. 1 single. The duo poured themselves into the lyrics about a woman who is about to take the first step of independence from a philandering lover.
The song’s narrator is a man who is at a bar, feeling lonely because his woman has left, so he spends “most every night beneath the light of a neon moon”. Yes, it was a heartbreak song, for sure, but one that you could very much get out on the dance floor and at least revel in your misery.
Red Dirt Road
Ronnie Dunn commemorated, “I knew we were going to call this album Red Dirt Road before the first song was even picked”. “I wanted that thread, that growing up in rural America and all the universal touchstones we all go through—that first beer, wrecking my first car two weeks after I got it, being taken to a revival by my cousins who lived a few miles farther down that road. That road ran through every major event in my young life… and who would think a kid growing up like that, going to Bible college, would end up here? But that’s the power of life and roots and dreams—it can.”
The duo collaborated in writing this nod to their pre-stardom roots, which became one of their most critically acclaimed hits in the late spring of 2003. The song also became one of two Brooks and Dunn songs to hit No. 25 on the Hot 100, their highest ranking on the chart to date.
Ain’t Nothing Bout You
Kix and Ronnie needed somewhat of a new sound, and working with Mark Wright was just what the doctor ordered. Admittedly, the duo was in somewhat of a slow period, having not topped the singles chart for close to three years when this ambitious production hit the charts in the winter of 2001. Not only was this massive hit a number one hit, but the song stayed there for six weeks, and was the biggest hit of 2001.
Play Something Country
The idea came to Dunn after a show in Minnesota. This songwriting collaboration with Terry McBride wasn’t going to be in the running for Song of the Year. But, in Dunn’s hands, what the song might have lacked in depth, it more than made up with the fire that the duo evoked in this 2005 number one hit from Hillbilly Deluxe that resulted in their first Gold single.
Cowgirls Don’t Cry
“Cowgirls Don’t Cry” is a mid-tempo with a fiddle intro. Its lyric focuses on a female character who faces hardship. There’s something special about the chemistry that happens between Brooks & Dunn and Reba McEntire. The track was not only a huge hit for Brooks and Dunn, but the fact that it hit top 10 status allowed McEntire to surpass Dolly Parton for the most top 10 hits ever for a solo female artist.
She Used To Be Mine
The song is a sad song about a man who lost his love because he always did her wrong, and realizes what he lost in the end. Nobody handles the whiskey-drenched ballad of regret any better than Ronnie Dunn. This haunting ballad performance brought the duo their fifth number one song, and remains one of their more lyrically potent hits.
Boot Scootin’ Boogie
Lyrically, this Dunn-penned honky-tonker was nothing special, but combine the track with his lead vocals, Brooks’ untamed energy and spirit, and you have one of the most unforgettable moments of the Brooks and Dunn song catalog. The song is a tribute to the Texas style honky tonk’s line dancing.
You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone
It was an age-old concept, but this ballad about a man who was getting tired of the respect he wasn’t given. The narrator explains to his significant other that she has constantly been mistreating him. Although he still shows great affection for her, he ultimately comes to the realization that their relationship is in serious jeopardy because of her actions. The laid-back pace of the song was a contrast to the energetic up-tempo songs that had become their trademark sound.
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