Stardom Meets Mediocrity

Red Dirt Road (Arista)
Brooks & Dunn

By Rob Greenwell

Slim and Howdy, better known as Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, with their latest studio album, "Red Dirt Road," have given us a decent album at best -- and if it was not released by Brooks & Dunn, this might even be considered marginal.

Still, Ronnie Dunn has a voice that gives any project opportunity to gain recognition. The title cut from this album, an excellent song about growing up in the country, is by far the best in this mix. The second track, "You Can't Take The Honky-Tonk Out Of The Girl," a song about a wild woman who likes to live life to the fullest, is almost equally as good.

The rest of this album showcases Dunn's voice but fails to showcase the best of Brooks & Dunn's songwriting ability. They have done a lot better in their day. Don't get me wrong; this is not Tight Rope, by far the worst Brooks & Dunn project. But this is nowhere near the success of even the last album, 2001's Steers and Stripes.

Only the strongest Brooks & Dunn fan will purchase this project. For the next project, the duo's best bet is to get back to the basics of what made them famous all those years ago. I really thought they had it when the radio released "Red Dirt Road," but there was little to follow up with. I really will be surprised if they get three releases out of this album. All in all, this is not the worst, but definitely not the best. It's too bad, because when you set the bar as high as these guys have done, nothing less than the absolute best will satisfy you. I guess this is how Tiger Woods feels about golf.