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Brooks & Dunn

'Red,' White And Blue

Brooks DunnAlthough veteran country duo Brooks & Dunn hoped to have its new Arista album, "Red Dirt Road," ready in time for the early summer launch of its Neon Circus & Wild West Show tour, "the stars didn't line up that way," Brooks admits.

"We just took extra time and kept working on it," he continues. "What we originally came out of the studio with was not what this thing ended up being. We just kind of worked it and kneaded it along until we felt like it was fresh and pretty cool."

"Red Dirt Road" is more roots oriented and organic than anything in its catalog. The difference can be heard on the title track and the lead single, which is No. 4 on Billboard's Hot Country Singles & Tracks Chart. Not only has the outfit redefined its sound, but its storytelling perspective has shifted to mirror a somber society.

"I think as much as anything, a lot of it comes from where our country is right now," discloses Brooks. "When we were making this record and going through all of this stuff, not just after 9/11 but gearing up for war in Iraq, I think without realizing it, we did a lot of reflection on where we live, where we come from. Before all of that started happening, I think as Americans, everybody just seemed to be kind of bouncing along and flying off the cuff and just kind of a 'yee-haw' time. And I think some things in the last few years have made us all look back on what is real, where we come from. We didn't really sit down to do that, but I think our heads just maybe got into a little different place. Brooks & Dunn music changed a little bit."