Friday April 5th delivered one of the most anticipated and unique Greatest Hits collections. Reboot is the first studio release from Brooks and Dunn since their 2007 record “Cowboy Town” and is a collection of some of their biggest hits which have been reworked and re-recorded in collaborations with some of today’s biggest names in Nashville. The 12 track album was produced by Dan Huff and brings a new perspective to some of the duo’s classic hits. For such a collection of timeless hits featuring some of our favourite artists, the entire team here at Think Country were all eager to share our views on the record so we deliver a collaborative effort to talk you through track by track. The album is available now and you will want to hear them all for yourself which you can do HERE.
1) Brand New Man (Luke Combs)
This was a no-brainer for Brooks & Dunn. Who’s hotter than Luke Combs these days? Churning out number one hits like a machine, with a voice that’s pure country. “Brand New Man” is one of country music’s most upbeat, guitar-heavy songs about complete love and devotion, and Combs was just the man for the job. Brooks & Dunn may have had their ups and downs, but they never missed when it came to music. Getting Luke Combs to sing on this one was hitting the nail on the head. Others would have done it well, Combs does it like it was his to begin with. That’s not just smart business, that’s knowing what good music is all about. Thanks Kix and Ronnie. We’ve been waiting for something like this. – Patti
2) Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You (Brett Young)
Being one of their most memorable greatest hits and Brett Young being a current favourite for me, I had high hopes for this collaboration and it really doesn’t disappoint! Taking the first verse of the song, Brett manages to put his own spin on the classic by changing up the lyrics to “Aint Nothing ‘Bout Her” and manages to make any girl weak at the knees with that sexy vocal tone alone before Dunn’s entry on the second verse! The challenge of rebooting an old classic with a new fresh RnB vibe totally works perfectly with Brett’s vocals and the saxophone outro is a fantastic addition and makes the revamp totally unique! – Katie I
3) My Next Broken Heart (Jon Pardi)
With a fresh new twist to the introduction we hear a funky drum groove leading us in to the guitar and steel sound classic, to this track. Pardi lends a edgy style to this song with his clean iconic vocals. Brooks, Dunn & Pardi have such a unique sound that when combined creates a rich layer to this track and compliment one another well.
I thoroughly enjoyed the snippets of tweaked melodic instruments, I think it creates the modernised ‘Rebooted’ twist and gives the track an extra boost of tempo, thumbs up! – Jordan
4) Neon Moon (Kacey Musgraves)
Purely by title alone and even if you have never heard the original before, this track has Kacey written all over it! Where would be more fitting for a Cosmic Cowgirl than the Neon Moon? Ultimately the song is themed around a strip club but that is not the base of what Ronnie Dunn wrote about as the underlying theme is about somewhere you can go to be reminiscing or wanting to forget about a relationship and Kacey’s sweet vocal just portrays this as a perfect sentiment.
This is the only track on the album that was not purely produced by Dan Huff as Kacey had her own arrangement that she had been performing on tour and co-produced the version for the album with him. When you hear the song it is so perfectly fitting for the sound she is delivering right now and if you didn’t know this was a re-recording of the 1992 classic you wouldn’t be alone in thinking this version would have perfectly sat between Velvet Elvis and Wonder Woman on her Grammy Award winning Album of the Year “Golden Hour” and had almost been made for this.
She brings such a unique mystique to the track by making it less full bodied as the deep mellow and mellow original and instead bringing in the late eighties and early nineties vibes with the synthesiser element that by making it sound so retro that it is bang up to date without losing the sentiment of the song which the harmonies with Ronnie fit so perfectly. I think this arrangement is so different to the other tracks on the album, it reflects her so well and brings such a perfect blend of so many unique elements whilst retaining the integrity of a classic song. – Jamie
5) Lost and Found (Tyler Booth)
Kentucky native Tyler Booth joins the boys on Lost and Found and they certainly ‘found’ their way recording this track. I was interested to review this because I was unfamiliar with Booth and listening to this cut just makes me want to hunt out more of his music. His voice blends so well with that of Kix and Ronnie that it’s hard to tell when they stop singing and he starts! With an artist who’s career is still growing, what an opportunity to get to be a part of this project and he took the bull by both horns. It’s a rendition that is true to the original with all that same passion injected into it as was back in 1991, some six years before Booth was even born. – Amy
6) Hard Workin’ Man (Brothers Osborne)
Turn this one up and dance your boots off for this one Country Fans! When Hard Working Man was originally released in 1993, It was the showstopper on their album, by the same name. Now that Brothers Osborne has done the reboot version with the duo, all I can say is “OMG!”, where is the volume button!! Brothers Osborne, starts the song out with their deep, sultry, country boy voices, you will run to go find your old, worn in cowboy boots, and get that line dancing feeling! Your heart will start pounding! Combine that with the ever so versatile Ronnie Dunn, and as they say this song is: “Off The Chain!” with excitement!! The 2 groups are equally matched in sound and performance, yet so different, and a perfect combination for this track! Don’t get me started on the guitar solos, oh my!!! They go all out for this one!!! So, Turn it up, blast it, have a party, and a good ole time! – Robin
7) You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone (Ashley McBryde)
The original recording of this stunning song ( a co-write by the duo alongside Don Cook) reached number one on the Billboard charts in June ’95, their only chart topper to feature Kix on lead vocals.
He sings of how his partner should take the chance to “ kiss me one more time cause you’re gonna miss me when I’m gone” when he realises their relationship is over.
Whilst it’s a track I’ve always loved, I must say the addition of a female vocal gives the song a whole new perspective…..she is of the same opinion which of course isn’t voiced on the original. I love this spin on things!
And who better to duet with Kix than the incredible Ashley Mcbryde….such a versatile vocalist who can rock out as we all know but can also pull things back and show her tender side, as she does here . And in my opinion Kix’s vocals are much more emotional this time round. In addition, when the two harmonise is is truly beautiful .The new arrangement, tho’ steel dominated as before, is guitar rather than drum heavy which gives added interest and atmosphere.
Yes, I loved this song all those years ago but totally adore it now! – Lesley
8) My Maria (Thomas Rhett)
This Brooks and Dunn classic instantly lends a Rhett vibe for me – from the introduction, the drum and ‘click’ feel gives it an edge and contemporary clean sound with slight variation from the original. I think that this song is so well suited to his lovable personality.
Rhett’s vocals are nestled well with both Brooks & Dunn I especially like when Rhett takes the higher octave for the chorus ‘My Maria’ and Brooks and Dunn do the undertone like a call and response. Over all this song has been a big success for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. – Jordan
9) Red Dirt Road (Cody Johnson)
Red Dirt Road has always been one of my favourite Brooks & Dunn tracks and though I was of course looking forward to the album this song was high on my list for the excitement factor! The whole song has been stripped back from start to finish, featuring Texas singer-songwriter Cody Johnson. With the sound of a gentle guitar resonating through the song it just pays homage to what is such a great track. The subtle guitar solos bring it up just enough before bringing it back to the heart of the song; the lyrics. The song opens with Cody and the split between his vocals and B&D is perfection actually… to re-envision a song that has been so successful must be hard when it’s been played so many times in a certain way but listening to this track I feel like I am listening to it for the first time. I’d love to keep on going with the album but this is my track and I have got to stop!… – Amy
10) Boot Scootin’ Boogie (Midland)
If there was ever a collaboration meant to happen, It was Brooks and Dunn and Midland. Boot Scootin’ Boogie is fast, fun and was always a line dance favourite! Adding Midland to the mix, brings an extra layer of fun and the vocals mix perfectly. Put on your boots, head back to the 90s and boot scoot the night away! – Annette
11) Mama Don’t Get Dressed Up For Nothing (LANCO)
Of all of the tracks on the album, this is the one that stands out as the one I would want to hear live! LANCO are such are terrific live band and this is such a high energy track which is really guitar heavy and this version portrays such a stadium rock band vibe which they are so well suited to and is one of those tracks that you just think this needs to be played loud in front of a big crowd. There is a part of me that would have wanted to hear this being a duet with Kix and one of the really sassy up and coming female artists with what the song is about but Brooks brings such a strong vocal performance to this track originally brought out in 1996 and I think his voice along with Brandon Lancaster is such a perfect fit to make it sound like a good old rock and roll classic. – Jamie
12) Believe (Kane Brown)
When Brooks and Dunn came out with the song , “Believe” back in 2003, it was extremely powerful, sending a vibrant and special message to so many who had lost special people in their lives. Now, fast forward to 2019, and together with Kane Brown, and new arrangements, this duet, has created a meaning and message so much more extraordinary. Combined with Ronnie Brooks powerful vocals, and Kane Brown’s deep, yet clean baritone sound it, lends to make this song even more soulful and with emerging new emotions. The story of a special man, will live on with the vibrancy of an old school sound, with a new age flair. Every generation can now relate to the message of Old Man Wrigley. – Robin