When Brand New Man was released in 1991, few predicted that Brooks & Dunn would go on to become the most successful country duo of the modern era. Still, the success of their debut was well-earned. Since the 1970s Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn had worked the club circuits in Texas, Oklahoma and Nashville, playing in separate bands. Each was a seasoned veteran of honky tonk entertainment when Arista paired them up in 1990. The three big hits from their first album typify a roadhouse setlist. There’s the catchy singalong (“Brand New Man”), the tavern lament (“Neon Moon”) and the dance floor showstopper (“Boot Scootin’ Boogie”). The rest of the songs are rock solid, and Brooks & Dunn would go on to build a reputation for being straight shooters. While there are hints of the pop and rock influences that would make them superstars, Kix and Ronnie appear here as traditionalists with a deeply-honed understanding of their audience.