After '90s country titans Brooks & Dunn split in 2010, Ronnie Dunn was the first to drop a solo album, but Kix Brooks actually started out unaccompanied, releasing his first album back in '89 before finding stardom with Dunn. Though 23 years separate that outing from his second individual effort, New to This Town comes off more like the work of a veteran roots-rock singer/songwriter a la John Hiatt than a star turn by a former line-dance icon. The sultry, laid-back "Where's the Sun" could have come off a '70s Eric Clapton album, while barn-burners like "Complete 360" and "Tattoo" show that Brooks can tear off a tough country-rocker with the best of 'em. Anyone expecting some sort of "Boot Scootin' Boogie" update for the 21st century is seriously underestimating Brooks' continued vitality.
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