Brooks & Dunn Together for the Last Time at Cruzan?

Anyone with any doubt about the broad appeal of country music need look only to Brooks & Dunn for proof of its popularity. Aside from the fact that they're the biggest selling duo in the genre's history, they're also credited with outselling every other musical duo overall, competition that includes such formidable contenders as Simon & Garfunkel, Sonny & Cher, and Hall & Oates.

Chalk it up to their trademark high-octane take on honky-tonk that did more for line dancing than even "Urban Cowboy." The pair dominated the charts throughout the '90s, and when their formula waned at the start of the new millennium, they went back to the proverbial drawing board and released Steers and Stripes, an album that jump-started their commercial fortunes for the following decade.

Granted, cowboy hats and a rowdy, rambunctious attitude aren't uncommon in country music realms these days, but with Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn both being successful songwriters before joining forces, they were already invested with the skills and savvy to succeed. Given the recent announcement that they're going their separate ways following this tellingly titled Last Round Up tour, it remains to be seen if each man can sustain that success on his own. Suffice it to say, it's best to catch them together while you can.

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Lee Zimmerman