"Steers and Stripes"
Little Pop, A Lot Of Country
arrested for stealing horses. This transformation is not necessarily
a good one, and it has created two distinct groups of country music
fans: the older fans who miss the days when Johnny Cash and Merle
Haggard were popular, and the new school of fans who only know of
Dolly Parton because of . . . um . . . something other than her music.
most of the 90s, country music has been undergoing a revolution.
Gone are the days of twangy acoustic guitars, singers who are more
emotion than voice, and country artists spending time in jail for
something other than horse theft. In their place are computers,
singers who are more GQ and Cosmopolitan than Country Weekly, and,
well, country artists
there are a few acts in Nashville that have successfully bridged the
gap between the old and the new over the years, and among them is the
talented duo of Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, more commonly known as
Brooks & Dunn. They are two of the most talented songwriters and
musicians in the country music business today, and throughout their
career they've developed a knack for creating music that is appealing
to the younger listeners, yet still definitely country. They are
arguably the most successful country act that has never appeared on
the Billboard Top 40 pop charts.
trend looks to continue with the release of their newest CD,
"Steers and Stripes" from Arista Records. Once again,
Brooks & Dunn have managed to put together a collection of music
that will reach every fan base, from the tejano country fans, to the
old-style Willie Nelson fans, to the present-day Faith Hill and
Shania Twain fans. And it is VERY much country.
to r) Country duo Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn
CD starts out with "Only In America," a song that
illustrates the American Dream as the ability to not only dream, but
to have the freedom to act on those dreams. Look for it on the radio
during the summer, right in time for Independence Day. The CD
continues with a few songs heavily influenced by Latin grooves, most
notably "My Heart Is Lost To You," on which the guys
actually sing a few words of Spanish. There is also a heavy dose of
the hard, driving rock-country style they've been known to rock more
than a few packed arenas with, from the current top-5 smash hit
"Ain't Nothing About You" to the last track on the disc,
"See Jane Run." And, as always, there are the ballads that
normally make or break a CD. In this case, heartfelt tracks such as
"The Long Goodbye" and "When She's Gone, She's
Gone" provide the variety that keeps the CD from going too much
in one direction.
been obvious since music began than in all types of music, the
artists that are going to stick around the longest are the ones who
can adapt to the ever-changing tastes of the fans. However, those
that completely alter their styles to suit the public take criticism
for not being true artists, and those that stick to what they started
with are bound to be phased out of the mainstream. It's the bands and
artists that can find a happy balance between these two extremes that
stay around the longest. With "Steers and Stripes" Brooks
& Dunn have added another CD to a collection that will keep them
fresh in the minds - and CD players - of fans of all types of music
for many years to come.
Click here to buy "Steers and Stripes"
by Mitch Worthington