Pickin' On

Pickin' on Brooks & Dunn

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CMH is an equal-opportunity picker. When the label initiated its Pickin' On series, it promised to offer instrumental bluegrass versions of everyone's songs, from George Strait to Bob Dylan to the Grateful Dead. So surely it was only a matter of time before Brooks & Dunn, the hottest country duo in the late '90s, received their turn. The hits are all here, from "My Next Broken Heart" to "Neon Moon" to "Brand New Man." While the arrangements are fairly simple -- with acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and dobro playing heavy in the mix -- electric guitar and percussion also spice up the proceedings. The material is played straight, meaning that renditions of "Little Miss Honky Tonk" and "My Maria" sound a little bit like Muzak, or what Muzak might have sounded like if it had been invented in Nashville. Of course, this collection wouldn't be complete without a version of "Boot Scootin' Boogie" and a fine, foot-stomping take is delivered on the next-to-last cut. As has been traditional on CMH releases, the final piece, "Summer Girls," is an original composition that even includes a rare vocal from J Swanson. For fans and anyone who enjoys a little acoustic music in the background, Pickin' on Brooks & Dunn should fit the bill.

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