Music review: Ronnie Dunn – ‘Re-Dunn’

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn are recognized as the biggest-selling duo in country music history. Their 1991 debut album, “Brand New Man,” sparked a legendary career that produced classic country hits like “Boot Scootin’ Boogie,” “My Next Broken Heart” and “Neon Moon.”

After the two cowboys temporarily called it quits and rode off into the sunset back in 2010, both Brooks and Dunn used the time apart to work on solo projects. Dunn’s latest release, “Re-Dunn,” is his fourth solo album and proves to be a true labor of love for the 66-year-old Texas native. The new album features Dunn covering 24 country and rock tracks that inspired him throughout his life and helped influence his musical direction.

Dunn kicks off the set with George Strait’s “Amarillo by Morning,” followed by a vibrant version of “Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress)” from the Hollies, as listeners quickly get a taste of the diverse tracks performed by Dunn.

Dunn continues to mix it up with a smooth offering of “How Long” from the British band Ace. Originally written and sung by Paul Carrack, this melodic hit would prove to be the band’s biggest claim to fame.

“Showdown” is a pleasant surprise with Dunn demonstrating that he’s not afraid to step out of his comfort zone. Dunn gives a splendid performance on the Electric Light Orchestra number from the band’s third release that also contained “Daybreaker” and “Ma-Ma-Ma Belle.” As a huge ELO fan, Dunn’s cover gets my full approval.

The Eagles’ “Peaceful Easy Feeling” and Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” are a natural fit for Dunn’s signature vocal style.

My favorite performance comes on an engaging version of Eric Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.” Dunn perfectly captures Clapton’s romantic narrative that was penned for Pattie Boyd by the guitar legend and included on 1977’s “Slowhand."

Other album highlights include Albert Hammond’s “It Never Rains in Southern California,” Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” 10cc’s “I’m Not in Love” and Pure Prairie League’s “Amie.”

Brooks and Dunn were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in October.

Clint Rhodes is the Herald-Standard music reviewer. He can be reached at clinton43@me.com.

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