Recommendation XXVIII: Brooks & Dunn (double-shot)

Oh yes, time for another dose of double-shot. This one was tough, tough, TOUGH, to decide for, but eventually, I made my decision.  But, let me get to that in the third paragraph.  Since I like to take some time before my recommendations to give you a slight update on myself, here it goes: some serious news was broken to me some days back – I would not be able to return to college for my fall semester this year (or possibly, ever again).  With the economy these days and the job market, it’s a tough world to make it in, and it hit my family hard.  Thank God I still have a roof over my head.

I was kinda expecting it as a possibility (even last summer, I was a bit iffy on if I’d return last year), so I was not too taken back.  I’m a positive guy, and I believe God makes everything happen for a reason, whether or not you can see it at the moment, even if it looks bad.  In a way, I’m kinda relieved because it gives me more time to relax and take my mind off school stuff, but the thing that bothers me most is not being able to spend time with my very good friends back there, so it’ll take a while to adjust to not see them for some time.  I’m hoping I can return in the Spring semester in 2009, so I’m doing O.K.  That’s one reason I’m working so much right now.  Anyway, onto the double-shot feature…

My twenty-eighth recommendation is: Brooks & Dunn’s “Don’t Look Back Now” from their 1999 Tight Rope album AND “Caroline” from their 2003 Red Dirt Road album.  I chose to do a double-shot with them because of the obviousness that they’re a duo.  Also, because while they’re considered a duo, their songs usually switch off with either, Kix Brooks, or Ronnie Dunn, singing lead vocal, and rarely these days, do they sing together in a studio-recorded song (except in concert).  I really wish they’d switch off lead vocals in their songs, like Montgomery Gentry does, and pushed their radio singles that way (though Kix and Ronnie’s music, IMO, is miles better).  Brooks & Dunn rarely fail to impress me with their work.  I’ve been a fan of their’s since the ’90s when I was a young kid, and I can remember hearing their music along with many great memories.  Though, they have moved quite a bit from their more honky-tonk traditional country sound from then, they continue to prove how they’ve still got a lot to offer after all these years (but I have to comment, the fiddle has been lacking in their records after 2000- what’s up with that?).  I don’t own all their albums: I own the first Greatest Hits album and about everything else after that (I own seven of their CDs).  The cuts chosen for this recommendation confirmed to be one of my hardest choices, but I think these two songs are perfect for it.

I’m going to begin with “Don’t Look Back Now”.  When I first got the Tight Rope album, this song really stood out to me because it sounded pretty pop-country to me.  I don’t think I liked it too much at first because of that lol, but it got stuck in my head, and my mom really liked it.  Kix Brooks has one of the most underrated vocals in the country music industry – why he doesn’t get more lead vocals in B&D’s radio singles is beyond me because his songs are just as incredible as Ronnie’s, and if given the chance, they could be just as big.  This steel-heavy weeper is co-written by Brooks, and is about a girl trying to leave her man, but has a resistance so weak that if she looks back at him, she’ll just fall and return back to him.  He doesn’t love her, and it seems like he’s using her.  It’s a twisted psychological relationship that’s not based on love, and the narrator is warning the girl to be strong and to get away from this guy, and to not look back because he’s not worth it.  It’s really a heartbreaking song, and Kix’s vocals are ideal for such a subject because you can feel the emotion in his voice, like in “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”Tight Rope is a pretty good album and I’m glad to own it.  Lots of good stuff on there that I’d talk about, but I don’t wanna get too chatty.

And now, “Caroline”, a rockin’ bluegrass I-done-wrong uptempo sung by the one of the greatest male vocalists of all time, Ronnie Dunn.  When I initially heard this: WOW.  It’s got the soul of a bluegrass/mountain tune with the rocking beat, energy, sound, and feel of a ZZ Top song.  Dunn sings believably about how much of a fool he was to let this Caroline girl go, and if she will find it her heart to forgive this tragic sin.  And to make this epic piece even better, background harmony vocals are by Dan Tyminski and the dobro playing are by Jerry Douglas (both of Alison Krauss & Union Station fame and more).    Tyminski’s harmonies are very apparent and help make the song as great as it is, as well as Douglas’s amazing dobro-work.  I hope more artists embrace this type of sound at least once in their careers (I call it “rock bluegrass”.  On a side-note, I was hoping Shania Twain‘s next album would be like this, with AKUS, like they did on her Up! Close & Personal special and DVD.  Love the sound.)  “Caroline” is one of highlights on the Red Dirt Road album (which, btw, gets my vote for one of the best looking album covers of all time – gotta love it.  Reminds me home and dirt roads).

B&D are definitely my most favorite duo of all time, and rank #3 in my favorite artists.  I hope their current single, “Put a Girl In It” goes to #1 ;-).  I can’t wait to hear their solo album works.  Oh, and since we’re on the topic of duos, I’d like to give you a heads up about a new duo, Ashley Monroe and Trent Dabbs (coincidentally, Ashley’s last single, “I Don’t Want To” had Ronnie Dunn singing harmony).  These two have three songs up on their new myspace page and they sound incredible.  Their sound is very alternative country and the album has yet to have a release date, but I’ll buy it! (one of their songs may be a recommendation in the future, who knows? ;-) ).

Thanks for reading!

Buy “Don’t Look Back Now” and “Caroline” on iTunes now!

Here are the full lyrics to “Don’t Look Back Now”, written by Don Cook & Kix Brooks:

He doesn’t want your love
But he can’t say goodbye
He’s begging you to stay
But he can’t tell you why
You finally made your move
Your hand is on the door
You know the rest is hard
You’ve been this far before

Don’t look back now
He’s gonna see you crying
You’ll turn around
It happens every time
That look will always break you down
Don’t look back now

You pick your suitcase up
You hear him call your name
You’d give your soul to him
If things could be the same
You stop and close your eyes
You grab some memories
You think of better days
But that’s all history

Don’t look back now
He’s gonna see you crying
You’ll turn around
It happens every time
That look will always break you down
Don’t look back now…

————————-

Here are the full lyrics to “Caroline”, written by Charlie Crow & Ronnie Dunn:

My darling, I have wronged you
Down the devil’s path, I have roamed
Regret, sadness and sorrow
Now in my soul have found a home

My Sweet Caroline
From your loving arms I’ve strayed
In your heart may you find
Forgiveness I pray
A fool to temptation
I surely played
I come to you for salvation
Have mercy in love’s name

My Sweet Caroline
From your loving arms I’ve strayed
In your heart may you find
Forgiveness I pray
A fool to temptation
I surely played
I come to you for salvation
Have mercy in love’s name

The chilling cry of sin’s wrath
Sounds like thunder through my head
I find no rest now no comfort
In a cold dark lonely bed

My Sweet Caroline
From your loving arms I’ve strayed
In your heart may you find
Forgiveness I pray
A fool to temptation
I surely played
I come to you for salvation
Have mercy in love’s name

My Sweet Caroline
From your loving arms I’ve strayed
In your heart may you find
Forgiveness I pray
A fool to temptation
I surely played
I come to you for salvation
Have mercy in love’s name

—————————————————-

http://www.brooks-dunn.com/

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7 Comments

  1. YES!!! These are two of my favorite B&D tunes! I agree that Kix has a very heartfelt voice. It isn’t that spectacular thing that Ronnie has but it is so full of emotion!
    Either one…..no one does it like Brooks and Dunn!
    Crickett

  2. I think Kixx and Ronnie do a wise job of choosing who should sing lead. Although Kixx’s voice is not as strong as Ronnies, the songs that they choose for him to sing lead vocals on really seem to compliment his voice. I have all of B&D’s CDs except for their latest one, but I haven’t listened to them a whole lot. So, I’ll have to revisit these two songs.

    By the way, I’m sorry to hear about your college situation. It’s definitely a tough economic time right now for many people. Sadly, even government student loans have unreal high interest rates. I hope you’ll be able to find your way to finishing your degree some time soon.

  3. I strongly recommend picking up B&D’s first disc, “Brand New Man.” It’s solid from start to finish.

    It’s interesting to me that before they became a duo, Kix Brooks had two separate recording contracts, including one with Capitol. Ronnie had a solo deal too, but since he pretty much stayed in the driver’s seat with B&D, I always wonder if Kix wouldn’t like a bit more time behind the wheel.

  4. Thanks guys!

    Right now, I’m at the library posting this and don’t have much time. The internet at home stopped working, so I will be M.I.A. for some days (not sure how long), so I will not be posting for a while (unless I visit the library again soon). Thanks again, and I’ll try to reply again to your comments later.

  5. I echo Kevin’s recommendation of B&D’s first album.

  6. Back again, por un momento…

    Thanks for commenting Crickett. I totally agree.

    Thanks Leeann. Yeah, I’m not looking forward to paying off those loans when I’m out of college lol. I know I should probably be paying at least some of it now, just to be smart, but it’s tough. Yeah, I definitely think I’ll be able to finish my degree, but it will take some time.

    Hey Kevin! I’ll definitely check it out. I know I would like it, but I get lazy buying old albums for some reason lol. If you two recommend it, I’ll for sure check it out (and probably buy it too lol).

    With B&D. I do enjoy their albums, but I do not love any of their albums 100% (except for the Hits ones) b/c there’s always a few songs on there that I don’t care for too much (For example: even though people loved “Again” from Hillbilly Deluxe, I just couldn’t get into it. Sometimes my initial excitement for their new albums fades over time, but their music is always good to listen to).

  7. […] – bookmarked by 5 members originally found by Gaara108 on 2008-11-12 Recommendation XXVIII: Brooks & Dunn (double-shot) https://icfmusic.wordpress.com/2008/07/14/recommendation-xxviii-brooks-dunn-double-shot/ – […]


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