Kix and Ronnie will have a final tour in 2010
That collective sigh of relief you heard on Monday was from every country music duo on the brink of winning Vocal Duo of the Year honors; Sugarland and Montgomery Gentry finally have a chance now!
On Monday, Brooks & Dunn (the most successful duo in country music history) announced that they're splitting up - and they'll have a 2010 Farewell Tour. I wonder if they did this as a marketing ploy or if they think that their time in the spotlight has passed.
Marketing-wise, it's brilliant because a farewell tour will get them plenty of attention. And they win twice if they choose to do a reunion tour in a few years.
Vocally, it's tough to think about B&D as a duo because Dunn is so clearly the better vocalist, and I estimate that he sings lead vocals on 90 percent of the band's tracks.
Don't get me wrong. I like Kix Brooks' vocal style. It's an acquired taste. "You're Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone", "A Few Good Rides Away" and "Rock My World (Little Country Girl)."
Here's hoping the duo has more success in its post-duo solo careers. They weren't very good as solo artists trying to break into the industry.
In addition to their music, the image of Brooks & Dunn as a country music duo was a powerful one. There was always a Western feel to their image, if not always their music.
People who don't listen to country music had heard of Brooks & Dunn. It's difficult for a country music fan who started listening to the genre in 1996 to imagine them splitting up, but I guess all good things must end.
"My Maria" was one of the first country songs I'd ever heard, and I remember memorizing the words to "Boot Scootin' Boogie" and "Little Miss Honky Tonk."
I remember buying their first Greatest Hits package on a cassette and attending several of their concerts. The first time I saw them was at the Fleet Center in Boston, Mass. in 1998 for my 19th birthday. They were touring with Reba McEntire along with opening acts Terri Clark and David Kersh. I had floor seats and still remember when B&D and Reba joined together for "If You See Him, If You See Her."
The following year, I drove with a friend to Hartford, Conn. to see B&D headline an all-day country music festival that featured Trace Adkins, The Warren Brothers and The Wilkinsons. I still have the program from that festival, and I remember when red, white and blue confetti fell into the audience.
Then, I saw them play Sandstone Amphitheater in Bonner Springs, Kan. and twice at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville.
I never thought I'd see B&D play as an opening act, but there they were at the largest country music in Northern California history - opening for Kenny Chesney last summer at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
They played a one-hour long set at Reliant Stadium for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. That and the '09 CMA Music Festival were the last time I'd seen them perform. Hopefully, I'll get to see them farewell (and reunion) tours.
Want to share some of your favorite Brooks & Dunn memories? Favorite B& D singles that were never released? Let me know