If Brooks & Dunn thought they were on the right track with the album “Red Dirt Road,” then they are absolutely sure of it on the new “Hillbilly Deluxe.” This is a collection of songs that topically are about living high, wide and handsome (“One More Roll of the Dice”) and then accepting the downside of that lifestyle “(Whiskey Do My Talkin’”). But it is also about higher powers (“I Believe”) and higher purpose (“My Heart’s Not a Hotel.”).
ut what really moves this new disc to another level is the conviction and assurance packed into each song. It seems this high-flying duo found the path to musical contentment and are now reaping the rewards.
Despite the title, this is really a disc more grounded in roots rock than hillbilly twang. Even though the first hit off the disc is “Play Something Country,” there is more of the album’s pedigree to be found in the discs of Little Feat and John Mellencamp. Former Little Feat keyboard whiz Bill Payne plays on the disc as does Mellencamp staple David Grissom. Vince Gill and Sheryl Crow even lend voice to the solid “Building Bridges.”
While Brooks & Dunn haven’t exactly reinvented themselves, they have rejuvenated the music, and it shows on “Hillbilly Deluxe.”