Country Music Royalty Ronnie Dunn Shares All The Details Of His Upcoming Album, “Re-Dunn”

Ronnie DunnPhoto Credit: Steven Martine

Country legend Ronnie Dunn just made a big announcement this morning, and that’s the release of his fourth solo studio album and 16th studio album, “Re-Dunn.” The 24 -song project will feature covers of country and rock songs that all have deep meaning to the 66-year-old singer, songwriter and record executive; all have shaped his life and career along the way. “This is a passion project for me. If you put together a group of songs that define the soundtrack of my life, this is what it would look like,” he says of his “Dunn for fun” album. To celebrate the announcement, Dunn—who has 28 Academy of Country Music Awards, 19 Country Music Association Awards, 2 Grammy Awards and more than 30 million records sold as half of country music’s most-awarded duo in history, Brooks & Dunn—is releasing his versions of “Amarillo By Morning” and “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress),” the first two singles from the highly-anticipated project today as well. We chatted with the recent Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and Country Music Hall of Fame inductee about his personal passion project, and what fans can expect when the album is released in full next January. Until then, fans can rely on that two new singles (one country and one rock) will be released every four weeks leading up to the album’s 2020 launch.

RE-DUNN Full Track List

1.“Amarillo by Morning”
2. “Long Cool Woman (In A Black Dress)”
3. “That’s How I Got to Memphis”
4. “It Never Rains In Southern California”
5. “How Long”
6. “Drinkin’ Thing”
7. “Together Again”
8. “Peaceful Easy Feeling”
9. “Against The Wind”
10. “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”
11. “I Won’t Back Down”
12. “Cowboy Rides Away”
13. “Showdown”
14. “Wonderful Tonight”
15. “Ashes By Now”
16. “That’s The Way Love Goes”
17. “I’m Not In Love”
18. “Brown Eyed Girl”
19. “You Don’t Know Me”
20. “Ridin’ My Thumb To Mexico”
21. “A Showman’s Life”
22. “Good Time Charlie’s Got The Blues”
23. “Aime”
24. “I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)”

Ronnie DunnPhoto Credit: Steven Martine

How did this solo project come about?

A few months ago I was asked by a Nashville record executive if I might be up for recording three songs outside the country genre for a Spotify experiment. They wanted to hear songs that I grew up listening to outside the country umbrella. The entire project took a big turn the moment we sat down in the studio to record. It took on a life of its own and I quickly realized that it was going to be much broader in scope than just three songs could define.

Tell us about the songs you chose for this project and what the idea behind the album is

My generation listened to classic rock, hard rock and country….The Eagles, Van Morrison, Eric Clapton, Merle Haggard, Tom Petty, Hank Williams, George Strait. I played many of the songs in bands in bars coming up through the ranks. I have insanely extensive classic rock and country playlists, it’s pretty much obsessive. There is always something playing in my truck, around the house or on my tour bus.

What started out as a three song streaming Spotify experiment quickly turned into a 24 song passion project. Once the players and I started we couldn’t stop. It didn’t take me long to realize that no record label, especially in today’s world of low profit margins was going to underwrite what we were doing so I asked my label, Big Machine to let me do it on my own and miraculously they did. We were off to the races. Everyone in the creative pool found ourselves lost in the sheer joy and experience of making music for the sake of making music. That’s unheard of in today’s music business. While we were in the studio we were calling it a Dunn For Fun project although the album title morphed into RE-DUNN.

Not just me, but almost every musician had stories about certain songs along the way. One of the musicians’ uncle was in on the legendary mixing process of I’M NOT IN LOVE by 10cc. You have to check it out on YouTube. This entire 24 song project is the soundtrack of my life, it’s a virtual playlist of the last 40 years of it for sure. Every song is a favorite. I think most or maybe all of us have those tunes that trigger memories of specific events in our lives…a broken heart, a summer fling, an old flame, a new flame…

Ronnie Dunn

Is there one song in particular that gives you the feels when you perform it? Which?

It’s practically impossible for me to pick one specific song that out shines the others. They were all big hits. I like THAT’S THE WAY LOVE GOES (originally recorded by Merle Haggard and written by Whitey Shafer) from the country world. I like HOW LONG (originally performed by ACE). I can’t beat Paul Carrack’s singing but I love the song and track that we got.

Is there any song on the radio today that you would like to cover?

I covered an Ariana Grande song titled Tattooed Heart on my last solo record. I try to keep up with what’s going on with all kinds of music but to tell the truth I don’t listen to terrestrial radio much anymore, most of it is a bit too sterile and homogenized.

Who is a current country (or any genre, really) that you’re dying to work with at some point in the future and why?

I just recorded a Brooks and Dunn album (RE-BOOT) with ten new country artists. It was a blast. All of the artiste were terrific. I’ve recorded songs with Merle Haggard, Reba McEntire…

How do you feel about all the country/rap and country/pop cross-overs that are flooding the airwaves?

Each generation has its musical influences. We had country combined with classic rock. I’m sure that what we did wasn’t “country” enough for some people in our day so I’m not going to criticize this generation’s hip hop influence. There are mainstream country artists like Chris Stapleton or Jon Pardi and Cody Johnson who honor a more traditional sound. The problem lies with the misconception that radio defines what’s hot or not. It doesn’t anymore. I don’t listen to radio. I stream where I have control of what I listen to. It’s convenient and super easy. If I want to hear the local traffic report or weather I’ll turn the radio on for short bursts but it’s not my “go to” for music and frankly most of the time I use a weather app on my phone for local updates.

Ronnie Dunn
Brooks and Dunn at the 45th Academy of Country Music Awards Press Room, MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, NV.

Talk to us about your Las Vegas residency. Has Vegas become a home away from home?

We’re in our fifth year of the Reba, Brooks and Dunn Caesars Colosseum residency. We had no idea that it would last this long. They pay us ridiculous money and treat us unbelievably well. It has indeed become my home away from home.

Where are you hanging out/eating/playing while you’re there?

I formed the LENSMEN PROJECT with a group of highly successful photographers a few years ago. During the down time between the Vegas shows, I’m usually somewhere in the desert with one or more of them photographing some outrageously cool thing.

What song of yours will you never tire of singing and why?

I hope I never get tired of singing NEON MOON.

What to you is the greatest luxury in life?

I think the greatest luxury in life is finding the thing or things that you love and being able to pursue them with every ounce of energy that you have.