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Brooks & Dunn
RED DIRT ROAD
(Arista)
Stars graphics

Three years ago, Brooks & Dunn revitalized their career with new producer Mark Wright (Lee Ann Womack) on the genre-crossing Steers & Stripes. On their eighth and latest album, Red Dirt Road, the country-rock superstars team up with Wright for another action-packed round of amped-up soul-searching. "I learned that happiness on earth ainít just for high achievers," they harmonize with glee on the title smash, an easygoing trip down memory lane. The hit "You Canít Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl" adds humor to the equation: the trackís heroine flies into town for a wedding and proceeds to steal the groom. The music ó a euphoric Rolling Stones homage with greasy guitars and soul-powered background vocals ó is even more of a hoot.

Current single "Thatís What She Gets for Loving Me" tries a little tenderness, but most of the disc rocks as hard as Toby Keith. Nineteen-eighties baseball great Rick Sutcliffe gets credit for inspiration on the rollicking love song "Good Day To Be Me," and the duo have a blast with the bluesy shuffle of the Vaughan Brothersí 1990s hit "Good Texan," which gets changed to "Good Cowboy." More than a decade after "Boot Scootiní Boogie," Brooks & Dunn are still riding high.

(Brooks & Dunn appear next Thursday, April 15, at the Cumberland County Civic Center [207-775-3458] in Portland; on Friday, April 16, at the Tsongas Arena [978-848-6900] in Lowell, and on Saturday, April 17, at the Dunkiní Donuts Center [401-331-0700] in Providence.)

BY SEAN RICHARDSON


Issue Date: April 9 - 15, 2004
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