After a three-year run with the production-heavy Neon Circus & Wild West Show, Brooks & Dunn will scale back considerably in 2004 with the Red Dirt Road tour.

After a three-year run with the production-heavy Neon Circus & Wild West Show, Brooks & Dunn will scale back considerably in 2004 with the Red Dirt Road tour. The move is designed primarily to give major markets a rest and to take country's most successful duo into markets that have not seen Brooks & Dunn in several years. The first leg of the tour runs from Feb. 12 to April 25.

During a decade as headliners, the duo has reported close to $150 million in grosses to Billboard Boxscore, much of it from Neon Circus dates. "The Neon Circus is a killer brand, but we're going to take a break from it next year," says Clarence Spalding, co-manager of the group with Bob Titley. "We can't go back and do the major markets every year. We've got to give them a break."

The Red Dirt Road tour will begin next spring with about 25 dates in secondary and tertiary markets, with Joe Nichols, the 2003 CMA Horizon Award winner, as support. "Kix and Ronnie will only have to follow one act, not four or five," Spalding says.

The duo will take off May through July. Beginning in August, it will play some major fairs it hasn't visited in a while, possibly including state fairs in Louisville, Ky., Des Moines, Iowa., Sedalia, Mo., and Springfield, Ill., before resuming the Red Dirt Road tour.

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