November 3, 1995 in Seven

Boot Scootin’ In The Arena Top Country Duo Brooks & Dunn Brings Popular Sound To Spokane

By The Spokesman-Review

When Brooks & Dunn bounce onto the stage at the Spokane Arena on Sunday, it’ll be the first big country act to test the New Barn.

“It’ll be a real feather in our cap if we can pull it off successfully,” said Ronnie Dunn, by phone from a tour stop in West Virginia.

It’s hard to imagine how this duo couldn’t pull it off successfully. It just won its fourth straight Vocal Duo award from the Country Music Association - they might as well just retire the trophy - and the duo is second only to Reba McEntire as country’s top live attraction. With Kix Brooks’ wild stage antics (he rivals Garth Brooks in the running-around-the-stage department) and with a long string of hits, it’s practically a can’t-miss proposition.

And besides, these boys from Louisiana (Brooks) and Oklahoma (Dunn) are uncommonly popular in the Northwest.

“They started out telling us, ‘hey, you guys are going to be in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, all the Southwest and Southeast’,” said Dunn. “But we go to your part of the country, and it’s just nuts. That’s our favorite part of the country. We’ll be lucky if we get out of there with all of our band members. They’ll want to go AWOL and stay.”

They haven’t played Spokane since 1991, when they opened for Reba McEntire. This will be the first time they’ve been here as “grown-ups,” said Dunn, meaning as the headliners.

They’ve been headliners for two and a half years now, ever since “Boot-Scootin’ Boogie” exploded across the country and pop charts. This upbeat song launched a dance craze.

Or did it?

“It’s a long story, but just as all these people were coming over to country and realizing that dancing was synonymous with country, the press jumped on it and said we’re going on a dance craze,” said Dunn in a recent Billboard interview. “But we’ve been playing clubs for 17 to 20 years, and we haven’t seen anything any different.”

It took awhile, but they finally have recovered from the perception that they are a “dance act.” They did it by creating hits out of such slower, nondance tunes “She Used to Be Mine,” “Lost and Found,” and “That Ain’t No Way to Go.”

Still, they have retained a goodrocking image, an image which they certainly haven’t tried to dispel on the current “Waitin’ on Sundown” tour.

“Or, as the crew affectionately calls the tour, ‘Moo-tallica,”’ said Dunn with a laugh.

This tour concentrates on tunes from the current album, “Waitin’ On Sundown,” with plenty of material from the first two albums, “Brand New Man,” and “Hard Workin’ Man.”

They have also recorded a new album, and are now mixing it for March release. Don’t expect to hear any of those tunes in this tour, though. They are already planning a new tour to support that album.

What’s the title of the new album?

“No title yet, but I can guarantee it won’t have the word ‘Man’ in there,” said Dunn with a laugh, referring to the fact that the word has made it onto two out of three album titles.

He even predicted that the letter ‘g’ will make it into the next title.

He was referring to the duo’s predilection for using contractions such as “workin’,” “waitin’,” “cheatin’,” and “scootin’.”

“I was doing a session a while back and I didn’t know whether to sing goin’ or going, and everybody said, ‘Why don’t you trying going for once?’,” said Dunn.

This tour features two special guests, Faith Hill and Wade Hayes, country stars in their own right.

“Beauty and the Beast, as we call ‘em,” said Dunn. “Wade’s got a real up-tempo show - he really rocks. And of course Faith just gets up there and sings like an angel, and looks like one, too.”

Musically speaking


“Brand New Man,” 1991

“Hard Workin’ Man,” 1993

“Waitin’ On Sundown,” 1994

Hit songs:

“Boot Scootin’ Boogie”

“My Next Broken Heart”

“Lost and Found”

“Hard Workin’ Man”

“We’ll Burn That Bridge”

“Rock My World (Little Country Girl)”

“She Used to Be Mine”

“That Ain’t No Way to Go”

“She’s Not the Cheatin’ Kind”

“You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Photo

MEMO: BROOKS & DUNN with Wade Hayes and Faith Hill Location and time: Arena, Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25.

BROOKS & DUNN with Wade Hayes and Faith Hill Location and time: Arena, Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $25.

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