Brooks & Dunn hit the road for ‘Reboot’


The legendary Kix Brooks has always considered himself a rather stoic guy, an accomplished professional who never had much problem riding the roller coasters that are the stardom of country music.

But then the pandemic struck.

“I have to say it was all a bit more emotional than I expected,” Brooks said in a recent phone conversation, just hours after the first show of the recently relaunched Brooks & Dunn Reboot 2021 tour. , a first for him and partner of the duo Ronnie Dunn for more than 10 years. “It took me a few songs, just looking at this crowd and shaking my head and saying, ‘you know I almost forgot how I felt, but now at that moment I really remember how it was fun and awesome is. It really put wind in my sails.

It was over a decade ago when country music hitmakers of songs such as “Boot Scootin ‘Boogie”, “Red Dirt Road” and “My Maria” found themselves saying goodbye to their careers. of country music at a time when he was showing no signs of slowing down.

“Maybe they pushed us too hard at times in our careers,” Brooks says, not elaborating on who “they” were. “We always did our job and when we went on stage most of the time it was always a great time.”

After sprawling out on solo efforts, it was the good times that finally brought the duo together to perform a series of shows with country superstar and friend Reba McEntire in Las Vegas from 2015. Five years later, the two were determined to hit the road again to support the release of their latest album at the time, “Reboot,” which had the country duo collaborate with everyone from Luke Combs to Kacey Musgraves.

But the pandemic had other plans, leaving Brooks to retire to his 600-acre farm outside of Nashville to not only spend time with family and friends, but in a way, recalibrate his own hopes for the future.

“It doesn’t matter who you are, I think you kind of lose your center when you go through something like the past two years,” admits Brooks, who will be joining Dunn and McEntire again for their final shows together as part of the “Reba”. , Brooks & Dunn: Together in Vegas “is set at Caesars Palace later this year.” But even last night I watched Ronnie a few times. And I think we both feel like it sure is. our place. This step is really our center.”

Scheduled to take the stage at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in Tinley Park on Saturday night with special guests Travis Tritt and Elvie Shane, Brooks is struggling to contain his excitement.

“God damn it, I can’t tell you how many good nights we’ve had in this city,” he boasts of Chicago. “We absolutely adore him there.”

Brooks & Dunn are also now perhaps more relevant than ever. The two were recently nominated for Vocal Duo of the Year at the CMA Awards alongside other nominees – and certainly younger – such as Dan + Shay, Maddie & Tae and Florida Georgia Line. The two have also just signed to star on CBS ‘“New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash” alongside Jason Aldean, Kelsea Ballerini and Luke Bryan.

“Ronnie and I feel like we’re definitely singing better than ever,” says Brooks. “Even in rehearsals there are just a lot of smiles, you know?” I just feel like we’re both strong and we have a renewed energy to do it.

So, is new music on the way?

“No is the short answer to that question,” Brooks explains with a slight laugh. “We are always exchanging ideas and songs. But when it comes to meeting deadlines like we used to do and everything in between, we’re just not inclined to put ourselves under that pressure again.

Tricia Despres is a freelance writer.

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