Kix Brooks Proud of the House He & Ronnie Built

Aug. 27, 2009 — Brooks & Dunn are prepared to go their separate ways, but it’s not the end for either Kix Brooks or Ronnie Dunn, even if the most successful duo in country music history is on its last legs.

"Neither one of us are gonna quit makin’ music," Kix told the national radio show GAC Nights: Live From Nashville. "You know, that’s what we do."

The duo announced barely two weeks ago that it had decided to wrap up the partnership. Since the release of "Brand New Man" in 1991, Brooks & Dunn have become one of the most-honored acts in either the Country Music Association or the Academy of Country Music, they’ve mounted some of the most dynamic tours in the genre and they’ve even seen one of their songs — "Only In America" — used by both the Republican and Democratic parties at presidential conventions.

Despite the good times, both Kix and Ronnie gave up some of the creative expressions they wanted to make. And with no new mountains to climb together, it only makes sense that they each give it a go on their own.

"For a couple of hard heads like us to compromise basically what it is you do," Kix said, "you’re constantly givin’ [something] up — and generally, I think, way more than you take from a relationship like that, no matter how successful it is. I’m the first one to say what a great singer Ronnie is and everything like that, but I mean, hell, I was writin’ songs for 10 years before I ever met him. And had a lot goin’ on .. and he’s had to do the exact same thing. It’s like he’s got his mind set on exactly what it is he wants to do, what he wants to sing, but ‘Kix has this piece of real estate over here, and I gotta give him some of that.’ So, you know, 20 years we’ve been doin’ that. That’s a long time, both of us."

The duo plans a last-hurrah tour in 2010, though details haven’t yet been worked out. In the meantime, a retrospective album, #1s and then some, comes out Sept. 8. In addition to two new tracks — the recent hit "Indian Summer" and the current single, "Honky Tonk Stomp" — the two-CD package features some of the most memorable recordings of the last two decades: "My Maria," "Little Miss Honky Tonk," "Boot Scootin’ Boogie," "Ain’t Nothing ‘Bout You," "Neon Moon," "Believe" and "Red Dirt Road," among them.

"We’ve given, we’ve taken, and we’ve made it work," Kix said. "We’ve overcome on numerous occasions our egos and our whatevers, you know, a lot longer than most bands or duos have. And I’m really proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish and all the amazing times that we’ve had on stage."

Kix and Ronnie are part of Monday’s three-hour ABC special "CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night To Rock." Among others on board: Jamey Johnson, the Judds, Jason Aldean, Trace Adkins, Kellie Pickler and the Zac Brown Band.