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TWO FOR THE ROAD

POP MUSIC

Brooks & Dunn are a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll, a combination that upsets country purists but sells vast numbers of records. Despite releasing only four albums since their debut in 1991, they're the third-biggest-selling duo in music history, just behind Simon & Garfunkel and Hall & Oates. Even if you know nothing about country music, you know Kix Brooks & Ronnie Dunn: They're the skinny-legged guys playing guitars on the cover of more than 20 million boxes of Kellogg's Corn Flakes. They've scored 12 No. 1 singles. They're now touring with Reba McEntire, who has sold 35 million records to B & D's paltry 14 million. One of the cornerstones of Nashville's music business -- and of country music itself -- McEntire has just released her 23rd album, "What If It's You." The trio will mix and match their sets tonight at 8 in Marine Midland Arena.

The following night features Vanessa Williams and Luther Vandross in the arena. The toothsome Vandross has been singing and writing for more than 25 years and has worked with everyone from Bette Midler to David Bowie to the Average White Band. His solo career has produced numerous platinum albums and Top 10 singles. His latest album, "One Night With You: The Best of Love, Volume II," includes "Power of Love/Love Power," "The Best Things in Life Are Free" (with Janet Jackson) and "Endless Love" (with Mariah Carey). Williams opens the show with her more modernized soul sound. Williams has made a secondary career out of acting (in "Eraser," "Hoodlum" and the current "Soul Food"), but continues to top the charts with singles such as "Save the Best for Last," "Colors in the Wind" (from Disney's "Pocahontas") and her latest, "Happiness." The show is Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

-- Rafer Guzman

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