Country Throwback: Brooks & Dunn Perform ‘Red Dirt Road’ at Farm Aid 2003

by Katie Maloney

Brooks & Dunn provide aid for American farmers during a 2003 benefit concert.

Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, and Neil Young decided they wanted to do something to help American farmers in danger of losing their farms because of debt. So, they started Farm Aid, an annual benefit concert held for American farmers. The first concert was held on September 22, 1985, and has been held every year since. In 2003, Brooks & Dunn took to the stage to perform “Red Dirt Road.”

Brooks & Dunn perform “Red Dirt Road”

Brooks & Dunn Reminisce About ‘Red Dirt Roads’

“Red Dirt Road” quickly became a hit song. However, it was an album title before it was a song. During an interview, Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn say that they were thinking about what to name their upcoming album when they started reminiscing about their country roots.

“It was one of the few times that we really got serious about where we came from and started talking about our grandparents and all that kind of good stuff,” Brooks says. Dunn continues,”We just started talking about, ‘Remember how red that dirt was? Man, we’ve gotta call our album that.’ And it was like, ‘Cool. We’ve probably gotta write a song then, too,'” he continues.

Once they settled on the album title, they got to work on the song. “Red Dirt Road” spent 79 weeks on the chart and peaked at the number one spot. The duo says they had hoped to release the album before they went on tour. However, the timing wasn’t right and the album couldn’t be released in time. Nevertheless, Brooks says that he’s happy about the way things turned out.

“Typically, it would be great to have an album out when you go on tour, but the stars didn’t line up that way and we didn’t want to rush this music because we were in the middle of it,” says Brooks. “We just took extra time and kept working on it. What we originally came out of the studio with was not what this thing ended up being. We just kind of worked it and kneaded it along until we felt like it was fresh and pretty cool.”