For 20 years country artists Brooks & Dunn were nearly unstoppable. Almost from the day they were put together, the duo started having hit after hit and winning award after award. They won "Duo of the Year" so many times at the various country music awards, that it was kiddingly known as the "Brooks & Dunn Award".
Then, after two decades, the duo called it quits. Each one went their separate ways to pursue their individual interests.
Ronnie Dunn went in the studio and started working on a solo album, and started booking shows as a solo artist around the U.S. To date, three singles have been released from Dunn's solo debut, two that have been hits, and one that wasn't. I'll come back to this in a moment.
Meanwhile, Kix Brooks has kept busy as the host of "American Country Countdown", a syndicated show counting down the top 40 country songs on the music charts each week.
In addition, Brooks has been a part of various "Songwriter Showcase" programs, with other country songwriters, showcasing their musical talents around the nation.
Another business Kix has been part of is a winery, where he has his own brand of wine for sale to the public.
While Ronnie Dunn almost immediately started putting out solo music, Kix Brooks is just now testing the waters with his first post B&D single, "New to This Town".
I don't know about anyone else, however, I've always thought Ronnie Dunn was the "voice" of Brooks & Dunn. Yes, Kix is good too; it just seemed their biggest hits were the ones sang by Ronnie.
That's what I thought was kind of funny about Kix's new single; though it's a solo effort, he still has back up support from another big name, Joe Walsh of the Eagles. Whether this is a media move, to draw attention to Brooks' solo career or what, I don't know. The song is good, and you can definitely tell it's Kix; just not sure where Walsh fits in.
Likewise, Ronnie Dunn's first solo single, "Bleed Red", was heavily hyped to radio stations across the U.S. The song was highly anticipated, as everyone wondered what the music would be like without Brooks. To be honest, "Bleed Red" would be as perfect a Brooks & Dunn song as it was a Ronnie Dunn single.
Maybe it's just me, what I don't get though is, here are two guys that have had solid success for 20 years as a duo. Now they've gone solo, however what each has offered up could still easily be considered Brooks & Dunn tunes, had they been recorded when the duo was together. Because they have solo careers though, each man has had to reprove himself to radio audiences; why?
Yes, I think every artist should have to prove themselves every time they release a single; what I don't get is how either Kix or Ronnie could *not* have a hit with the music they're putting out. As I stated earlier, each is still putting out the "Brooks & Dunn" sound, though they're doing solo work.
Yet, that's what happened with Ronnie Dunn's second single, "Cost of Livin'". This is one of my favorite cuts on Dunn's CD, yet, the song never really made it on radio.
Now, with Kix Brooks releasing "New to This Town", and Ronnie Dunn's latest single, "Let The Cowboy Rock", on the airwaves also, it's more "Brooks vs. Dunn" instead of "Brooks & Dunn".
I guess, on the bright side, having individual music from both Kix and Ronnie is better than no Brooks & Dunn at all. It will be interesting to see how successful each one will be, and if one will be more successful than the other. I give them at least 10 years each however.