Brooks and Dunn Reveal The Happy “Surprises” from Reboot

When you’re Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn, you’ve pretty much done, seen, and heard it all in the country music world.

It would seem a pretty difficult task to leave these two speechless, and a sincerely daunting one to be an up-and-coming artist heading into a studio session with the legends.

But the rising stars that loaned their talents to Brooks and Dunn’s new duets album Reboot all brought something magical to the table. Two in particular that the new Country Music Hall of Famers discussed with were none other than early ACM-winners Ashley McBryde and LANCO.

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ACM New Duo or Group of the Year winners LANCO put their unique spin on Brooks and Dunn’s hit “Mama Don’t Get Dressed Up For Nothin’,” which started out fine enough when the gang made it into the studio together. But thanks to the group’s frontman Brandon Lancaster and producer Dan Huff, they were able to take this remake to the next level.

“We started listening to it, and Brandon picks up and acoustic and starts doing this little descending lick on the acoustic,” Brooks told

“He was really quiet, in the studio,” Dunn added.

“Ronnie’s like, ’What are you doing there, I love that!” Brooks said. “That’s cool. Dan picked up on it, ’Hey, that’s kind of LANCO, let’s do that first verse like that.’ I blew a little harp on it. ’Second verse let’s go back to Brooks and Dunn.’”

And that’s kind of how the rest of the record when down according to the duo. A little bit of outside creative individuality mixed with old school tradition.

Perhaps the biggest, most pleasant surprise for Brooks was working with ACM New Female Artist of the Year winner McBryde.

“Only a surprise from the standpoint of never having sung with her,” he confessed. “I saw her on a video clip with Eric Chruch doing one of her songs and thought, ’God I love her.’”

McBryde lends her voice to the hit “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone,” a tune Reba performs with the duo during their Vegas residency. For the guys, McBryde was more than the right choice for this new project.

“I’m singing the songs in the keys to her on her telephone when she’s driving to the studio!” Brooks said with a laugh. “When she hit her verse, the room lit up.”

Reboot, which also features stellar duets with Brett Young, Kacey Musgraves, Kane Brown, Tyler Booth, Midland, Brothers Osborne, Jon Pardi, Thomas Rhett, and Cody Johnson officially hits stores and digital retailers tomorrow (Apr. 5).

Samantha is a country radio insider with a deep love for the music and its stars. She can often be found on a red carpet or at a late-night guitar pull.