Ronnie Dunn – “Bleed Red”

C.M. Wilcox | February 1st, 2011

Ronnie DunnSongwriters: Tommy Lee James and Andrew Dorff

Well, you can’t accuse him of lacking ambition. For his first official solo single in 27 years, Ronnie Dunn has recorded an epic monster of a song, so awash in generality and bursting with conciliatory sentiment that it practically begs to be played at the climax of a Disney film. Neither of the song’s writers are strangers to big, crescendoing string ballads: Dorff is currently charting with Gary Allan’s cut of “Kiss Me When I’m Down” and James had a hand in writing and producing Richie McDonald’s famously over-the-top 2008 single “How Do I Just Stop.”

How much of a departure is this from the final years of Brooks & Dunn? In a recent interview, Dunn confessed he settled on his approach to the song by imagining how Conway Twitty would sing U2. Yikes.

Still, the performance isn’t the mess the Twitty/U2 comment implies, and it’s easy to see why Dunn was willing to leave his comfort zone a bit to tackle the song. This is the sort of message that desperately needs to be sung right now, a call for empathy and understanding that answers a toxically divisive political and cultural environment with an affirmation that we’re all more alike than different, even (and especially) in our foibles. “We all say words we regret/We all cry tears/We all bleed red,” Dunn sings, his conviction palpable.

If the song is anchored by the obvious timeliness of its message and Dunn’s typically stellar vocal, it’s set adrift by a plodding melody, repetitive lyric and predictably overdramatic finish. Enjoyable enough the first time, it doesn’t invite much repeat listening: The unmemorable melody makes singing along a chore, the repetitiveness means you sort of already feel like you’ve heard the song twice by the time you get through it once, and the big finish draws attention to the artifice underlying what should be (or seem) a transparently human, emotional moment. In other words, the only elements that bear much scrutiny are the strength of the concept and the quality of Dunn’s performance, only the first of which comes as any surprise.

“Bleed Red” should make for a touching music video and awards show performance, but as a standalone song it doesn’t retain much of its interest past the first listen.

Thumbs Down

Listen: Ronnie Dunn – “Bleed Red”

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  1. [...] of Country likes it | The 9513 gives it a thumbs [...]
  2. [...] is nonetheless a pretty powerful lead-off single for his solo career. CM Wilcox’s review at The9513 makes some good points about the songs weaknesses, but nonetheless Ronnie’s vocals [...]
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  1. Paul W Dennis
    February 1, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Agree with the ‘thumbs down’ – plodding melody, stultifying tempo – actually it does sound like the sort of schlock that Conway Twitty recorded in his later years

  2. Tex
    February 1, 2011 at 7:46 am

    IMHO you are TOTALLY off base. I find myself putting this song on repeat repeat repeat…can’t hear it enough! Love the lyrics and they are repeated as they need to to address the points (we can’t hear that enough as it relates to the global conditions) and the build up toward the end is GREAT especially with Dunn’s unbelieveable vocals !! Absolutely LOVE IT!!!!

  3. luckyoldsun
    February 1, 2011 at 8:08 am

    Maybe youd’a liked it better if it had a guest back-up vocal from Kix Brooks.

    And btw, Conway did some great stuff in his later years.

  4. WAYNOE
    February 1, 2011 at 8:59 am

    Lucky,

    A guest back-up from Kix would sound like, well, like it does already. Know what I mean?

  5. WAYNOE
    February 1, 2011 at 9:09 am

    Yes it is a plodding melody, but that is what makes it a bit different than the current pop-flavored melodies. AT LEAST IT’S DIFFERENT! That criteria alone doesn’t make it a good song however.

    By the way, it was getting ridiculous to see B&D singing about parties and teeny-boppers. I mean, “Play Something Country & Hillbilly Delux” at their ages?

    Maybe Dunn can get more serious in his singing. His voice is good enough and now he is not bothered by a silent partner.

  6. plain_jo
    February 1, 2011 at 9:48 am

    Y’all leave Kix alone :) Why does it always have to come down to bashing Kix? This is Ronnie’s Song It’s now all on him bro.

  7. Ben Foster
    February 1, 2011 at 9:56 am

    I’ve only heard it a couple of times, and I found it mildly entertaining, but it’s probably not the kind of thing that’s going to stick with me. It’s definintely a solid concept, but I think it’s the overdramatic finish that will probably wear on me more than anything else.

  8. Lewis
    February 1, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Ronnie might have a hard time getting this to chart very high up there. One factor here that he’s starting over as a solo artist at the age of almost 58. Another factor is that not very people after they have disbanded or left groups or duos have gone on to much success: Randy Owen and Richie McDonald being most recent examples. Radney Foster and Larry Stewart had some initial success as solo artists but only Radney has been consistant in a solo career in the past 20 years and Larry has gone back to Restless Heart.

    Charlie Louvin may be the exception here since his success after The Louvin Brothers disbanded in 1963 was very successful in all aspects.

    I’m almost tempted to say that Kix might be the one who may have some success with his solo stuff coming up but I wouldn’t be surprised about that either.

  9. WAYNOE
    February 1, 2011 at 10:35 am

    Lewis,

    You are absolutely correct. The stats favor your assertion. I think one of the main problems is the fact that people just get used to an act in their form when they liked them and cannot make the leap when a change comes.

  10. luckyoldsun
    February 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Lewis–
    If we’re in the predicting game, I’ll say Kix has virtually zero chance of success with his solo stuff. They rarely released a Kix vocal as a single when B&D was together. That kind of tells you that radio let the label know that they didn’t WANT it.

    I’ll say Dunn will have some success. It will be limited because of his age, as you noted, but I’d bet $50 that he still has one No. 1 hit in him. I put Dunn in a triumverate with George Strait and Alan Jackson–the male country radio voices of an era; the last of the “old guys” who still have a shot. True, Dunn has never done it solo like the others have, but I think that within the industry, he IS viewed as something of a solo act already, who was saddled with a “partner” for marketing purposes and handled it very well.

  11. Nicolas
    February 1, 2011 at 10:56 am

    I listened to this song yesterday and I can’t remember it now. I just remember not liking it very much at all.

  12. Jon
    February 1, 2011 at 10:59 am

    @luckyoldsun I think that within the industry, he IS viewed as something of a solo act already, who was saddled with a “partner” for marketing purposes and handled it very well.

    And you think that because of your intimate inside knowledge of the industry?

  13. Paul W Dennis
    February 1, 2011 at 11:08 am

    Niether Kix nor Ronnie had any success at all in their initial efforts at a solo career. Id be surprised if either does exceptionally well – actually Kix may have the edge in that ROnnie’s records will sound like rehashed B&D whereas Kix’s voice has not been that exposed so he may come off as something fresh

  14. Lewis
    February 1, 2011 at 11:21 am

    LuckyOldSun: Kix did have a #1 hit with Brooks & Dunn with “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” plus a few other Top 10 hits along the way so you could be in for a surprise on how well Kix does with his solo stuff.

    And Charlie Louvin was just 36 when he started his solo career thus the for most part why he had a bunch of hits through the years. Had Ronnie started his solo career while with Brooks & Dunn it might be a different story.

    And since we’re on the subject: Why hasn’t very many people in country music when their groups or duos disband or they leave the band that they’re aren’t very successful with it like Randy Owen and Richie McDonald? Pop music is an exception: All The Beatles in their solo careers were successful and also Beyonce after Destiny’s Child among others.

  15. Lewis
    February 1, 2011 at 11:33 am

    And how could Richie McDonald’s over-the-top “How Do I Just Stop” be just that when no one bothered to listen to it the first time around or why we don’t hear from him or anything else for that matter today?

  16. WAYNOE
    February 1, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    @Luckyoldson – Disregard know-it-all’s comment. You are correct in your assertion.

  17. Crickett
    February 1, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    Awwww! Lookit all the EXPERTS…especially good old Wayno. Always the guy I would go for for an opinion. (NOT)

    When it turns out you are all wrong, are you going to be able to admit it? Well, any of you except Wayno, who will beat a dead horse til it comes back just to kick him.

    I wish you much success Ronnie! Old is just a state of mind, and you have the most amazing voice in country music! And since we are never too old to dream, we are never too old to succeed.

  18. WAYNOE
    February 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    That’s Waynoe, not Wayno.

  19. Lewis
    February 1, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    The only people whose careers in country music that I know of that were successful after the groups or duos either left or broke up or in other cases death are Wynonna Judd, Charlie Louvin, Radney Foster and Ralph Stanley.

    The following all missed the mark and either went back to their groups, formed other groups or duos or just faded away all together:

    Randy Owen
    Richie McDonald
    Tim Rushlow
    Brady Seals
    Larry Stewart

    I also have a feeling that John Rich and Big Kenny may also be joining this latter group since they haven’t been heard from in a while.

  20. Dan Milliken
    February 1, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    This is such a well-crafted review I want to kick something.

  21. CMW
    February 1, 2011 at 3:22 pm

    Thanks, Dan!

    Coincidentally, my goal with this review was to get people to kick stuff… so, assuming you followed through, mission accomplished.

  22. WAYNOE
    February 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    CMW,

    So your critique had an ulerior motive? Hmmm. At least you admit it. Most reviewers will not. Hence my problems with most reviewers.

  23. Paul
    February 1, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    This is a good single. A bit overproduced no doubt about, but still a damn good voice on Ronnie and not meriting a dismissive review.

  24. Rick
    February 1, 2011 at 4:10 pm

    I haven’t used my “give a damn meter” lately, but I dusted it off for this little sonic trifle. Let’s see…nope its still busted! Oh well…..

  25. Jon
    February 1, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    CMW,
    So your critique had an ulerior motive? Hmmm. At least you admit it. Most reviewers will not. Hence my problems with most reviewers.

    This, plus the earnest correction of a misspelling of his FAKE name, earns Waynoe today’s Unintentional Humor award.

  26. Vicki
    February 1, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Was there a song? I was just floating in love hearing Ronny’s voice again.

  27. WAYNOE
    February 1, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Jon,

    I hope I never get bitter when I look off into the sunset years as “some” people seem to be.

    My aforementioned comment was quite revealing methinks.

    Sign me “quite happy in my middle age”.

  28. Jon
    February 1, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    I hope I never get bitter when I look off into the sunset years as “some” people seem to be.

    Me, too – but really, I’m not worried about it, as I’m having a blast. I also hope that I’m always honest enough to stand behind what I say, and that I never get so cowardly as to hide behind a fake name.

  29. luckyoldsun
    February 2, 2011 at 7:57 am

    And you think that because of your intimate inside knowledge of the industry?

    Jon–
    No, I think that as a reasonably intelligent outsider/fan who reads about the industry.

    For example, a couple of years ago I read–in Billboard or in some insider publication–that there was a push by some industry insiders to get Dunn a CMA nomination for “male vocalist of the year.” They noted that this would have been unprecedented for someone who’s not marketed as a solo act. The article suggested that it was a sort of industry recognition of Dunn’s lifetime achievements and all that he did for country radio over the years. In the end, the CMA kept to its rules/policies and Dunn did not get the nomination.

    Obviously, B&D shared a few shelf-fulls of joint awards for duo and entertainer, but there was some feeling IN THE INDUSTRY that Dunn deserved some individual recognition.

  30. luckyoldsun
    February 2, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Oh, and thank W.

  31. Jon
    February 2, 2011 at 8:32 am

    @luckyoldsun In other words, your opinion of how Ronnie Dunn is viewed “within the industry” is based exclusively on your recollection of reading something somewhere sometime about something that didn’t happen. Which is about what I figured.

  32. WAYNOE
    February 2, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Jon,

    Why does it bother you that I hide behind a fake name but others on here use aliases as well but do not seem to incur the wrath of Jon?

    By the way, your commetn about Dunn being considered at one time for a CMA

  33. WAYNOE
    February 2, 2011 at 8:36 am

    …Sorry – hit enter too quick. Anyway, the Dunn comment is worth noting and he should have been considered. He has been solo for many years.

  34. Paul W Dennis
    February 2, 2011 at 8:55 am

    “The only people whose careers in country music that I know of that were successful after the groups or duos either left or broke up or in other cases death are Wynonna Judd, Charlie Louvin, Radney Foster and Ralph Stanley.”

    Well – not exactly -

    Vince Gill (Pure Prairie League)
    Roy Rogers (Sons of the Pioneers)
    Rhonda Vincent (Sally Mountain Singers)
    Rose Maddox (Maddox Brothers & Rose)
    Dan Seals (England Dan & John Ford Coley)

    - went on to have very successful careers

    and Bobby Osborne and Jesse McReynolds seem to be doing okay

  35. Paul W Dennis
    February 2, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Now that I think about it, Juice Newton was part of an group act (Juice Newton and Silver Spur) and split off for a successful solo career

  36. Jon
    February 2, 2011 at 9:30 am

    There’s that historical perspective (but it’s Sally Mountain Show, not Singers). You could add Flatt & Scruggs (Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys) to the list, and then, of course, Flatt and Scruggs separately after their partnership as well, too.

    @Waynoe You’re the guy who says that one’s qualifications to write about things are all based on personal experience and then make claims about your own experience while hiding behind a fake name. It’s dishonest, hypocritical and cowardly. That’s why.

  37. Jon
    February 2, 2011 at 9:32 am

    And speaking of historical perspective, isn’t it interesting that our fake name experts don’t have enough of it to recall that Dunn had a miserably unsuccessful solo career prior to being hooked up with Kix Brooks?

  38. Bob
    February 2, 2011 at 9:42 am

    John Denver had a pretty good career after leaving the Chad Mitchell Trio as did Michael Johnson. Denver replaced Mitchell who didn’t do so well as a solo act.

    Linda Ronstadt was part of the Stone Poneys before going solo.

  39. Barry Mazor
    February 2, 2011 at 9:46 am

    As the Roy Rogers note reminds us, people breaking out from acts is as old as the genre, really. And as old as popular music. (Roy’s the only one in the Country Hall of Fame as a solo AND a group member, so far.) I mean, Ernest Stoneman sold both solo and in groups! Red Foley was a Cumberland Valley Boy.. It’s just not an unusual situation.

    Lead singers, in particular, get enough attention that they’re tempted to leave, get seduced away from, or just outlast groups they’re in.

  40. Razor X
    February 2, 2011 at 10:25 am

    The only people whose careers in country music that I know of that were successful after the groups or duos either left or broke up or in other cases death are Wynonna Judd, Charlie Louvin, Radney Foster and Ralph Stanley.”

    Well – not exactly -

    Vince Gill (Pure Prairie League)
    Roy Rogers (Sons of the Pioneers)
    Rhonda Vincent (Sally Mountain Singers)
    Rose Maddox (Maddox Brothers & Rose)
    Dan Seals (England Dan & John Ford Coley)

    - went on to have very successful careers

    and Bobby Osborne and Jesse McReynolds seem to be doing

    Skeeter Davis did quite well also.

  41. WAYNOE
    February 2, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    “And speaking of historical perspective, isn’t it interesting that our fake name experts don’t have enough of it to recall that Dunn had a miserably unsuccessful solo career prior to being hooked up with Kix Brooks?”

    Hey Mr. Bitter,

    Don’t count me in on that comment. I never said he did.

    “@Waynoe You’re the guy who says that one’s qualifications to write about things are all based on personal experience and then make claims about your own experience while hiding behind a fake name. It’s dishonest, hypocritical and cowardly. That’s why.”

    Hey Mr. Bitter,

    Did I say that?

  42. M.C.
    February 2, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    You can add Raul Malo of the Mavericks to the list. I think he’s had about as many solo albums now as with the band. They may not include country hits, but they’ve been well received. Marty Stuart also was in several bands before he started his solo career as well. Which is just to say it’s been established that it has happened before and will happen again.

    By the way, anyone who saw Ronnie Dunn prior to his B&D days would have seen that he had star potential. His early Nashville shows in the ’80s, with a band that consisted of several members who went on to be in the Tractors, were outstanding–very swinging affairs. The tracks he cut with Barry Beckett producing were good, too, they just never got a decent release.

  43. stormy
    February 2, 2011 at 3:30 pm

    Heck, Vince Gill was in Pure Prarie League and that didn’t seem to hamper his solo career.

  44. Jon
    February 2, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    A little late with that observation, aren’t you, Stormy?

  45. luckyoldsun
    February 2, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    @luckyoldsun In other words, your opinion of how Ronnie Dunn is viewed “within the industry” is based exclusively on your recollection of reading something somewhere sometime about something that didn’t happen. Which is about what I figured.

    Jonny-
    I guess I could have added that I once read that Nashville insiders referred to B&D as an organ grinder and his monkey. (We’re all free to guess which is which, I suppose.)

    And I’ve read articles where other artists have called Dunn one of the greatest singers in the history of the town.

    And I’ve seen it noted several times over the years that B&D are hardly a duo in the conventional sense and that they apparently don’t have much use for each other when they’re not performing–that they in fact each travel in their own tour bus.

    I also LISTEN to the music. It’s obvious that on many if not most of the records, Dunn is as much of a soloist as any country artist who’s billed as one.

    I guess that’s enough for me to write what I wrote. Until I get paid for posting here, I’m not about to start doing research to back up everything I write with specific citations.

    By the way, I have nothing against Brooks. “Lost And Found” was one of my favorite B&D songs and that’s a Brooks cut.

  46. luckyoldsun
    February 2, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    Everybody–

    Funny that people are going back as far as Roy Rogers and the Sons of the Pioneers, but no-one’s mentioned KENNY Rogers–who was once in the “First Edition”, and had a big pop hit with “Just Dropped In.” And more recently, there’s that guy from Hootie and the Blowtorch–or whatever the heck they’re called.

    But all of these people embarked–or reembarked–on solo careers at younger ages than Dunn.

  47. Stormy
    February 2, 2011 at 6:52 pm

    Jon: What’s the deadline for pointing out that both Kasey Chambers and Tift Merritt have long survived their bands?

  48. Jon
    February 2, 2011 at 10:29 pm

    @Stormy. Missed the point (again). You’re not even the second person to have brought up Gill.

    @luckyoldsun. You don’t even read your own posts carefully enough to see what it is that might need to be challenged.

    But for you and thenother fake name experts, here are a couple of questions: 1. Why was Dunn unsuccessful as a solo artist pre-Brooks & Dunn? 2. If he was simply “saddled” with Brooks, why did he not launch his solo career 15 years ago? Or 10? Or 5? Being such successful music industry types, I’m sure you can come up with factual and indisputable answers.

  49. luckyoldsun
    February 3, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Jonny–
    1. Why was Dunn unsuccessful as a solo artist pre-Brooks & Dunn?– I don’t know. There are dozens of people who are capable of being successful artists but aren’t. I guess it requires a combination of talent and luck with everything falling into place at the right time. Why weren’t Kenny Chesney and Tim McGraw and Shania Twain successful from the get-go–the way Garth, Clint, AJ and B&D were?

    2. Why did he not launch is solo career 15 years ago?–Probably because he was enjoying such phenomenal success in the situation that he was in. Look, B&D was a phenomenon that created huge hits and made tons of money for everybody involved. They were a great act and were probably bigger than the sum of the parts. But that doesn’t mean that they were equal contributors.

    Was Kix even in the studio when their biggest hits were created? Or did he just come in and lay down some background vocals on the near-finished tracks?

    My guess–and this obviously cannot be proven–is that if B&D had never been paired, Dunn would have had a level of success as a solo artist somewhere in between that of Joe Diffie and Alan Jackson. Brooks would have fallen somewhere between Dennis Robbins and B.B. Watson. (Oh, and I happen to like Dennis Robbins and his “Man With A Plan” cd.)

  50. Jon
    February 3, 2011 at 6:13 am

    They were a great act and were probably bigger than the sum of the parts.

    Then that would suggest that saying the previously-unsuccessful Dunn was simply “saddled with” Brooks “for marketing purposes” was, let’s see, what’s the word? Oh, yeah: ir was wrong.

  51. WAYNOE
    February 3, 2011 at 9:31 am

    @Jon – So how do you know that Dunn would not have eventually been successful as a soloist? As mentioned previously, many acts are talented but for a variety of reasons never get into the high-flying mainstream. Why, if I recall, that is one of the reasons this website posts articles about non-mainstream acts. To gain them exposure.

    You make assumptions like everyone else Jon. And sometimes they are no better.

  52. Jon
    February 3, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I didn’t say that Dunn would not have eventually been successful as a soloist. I said that he wasn’t successful as a soloist prior to his partnership with Brooks, which is a simple fact, and that he chose to maintain that partnership for quite a long time – also a simple fact. These facts suggest that all the blather from anonymous, self-proclaimed experts about how he was “really” a solo artist all along, that he was “saddled with” a partner, etc., is just that – blather.

  53. WAYNOE
    February 3, 2011 at 10:29 am

    I don’t know about him being a soloist artist all along as I was not there, nor were any of us. I will say that Dunn made the duo, contributed all the vocals with a couple of exceptions, and that it is entirely substantiated that Dunn’s voice carried the duo throughout their great cereer.

    From here, who knows where Dunn will go. Current radio is so unpredictable these days.

  54. Jon
    February 3, 2011 at 10:36 am

    I don’t know about him being a soloist artist all along as I was not there, nor were any of us.

    Well, that’s a rather remarkable admission, considering that no one has yapped any louder or more frequently than you about Brooks & Dunn not being a “real” duo, about Dunn being a solo artist, etc. In fact, in this very thread, you’ve made such comments as:

    “now he is not bothered by a silent partner.”

    and

    “You are correct in your assertion [that Dunn "IS viewed as something of a solo act already, who was saddled with a “partner” for marketing purposes"].”

    and

    “He has been solo for many years.”

    Or maybe that was a different fake name Waynoe making those posts?

  55. WAYNOE
    February 3, 2011 at 10:44 am

    No Mr. Bitter. My assumptions are just that. My interpretation for a duo does not depend on my being in attendance when the poweres-to-be created them.

    And yes, he is not bothered by a silent partner. What part of that can I not say if I was not present when their duo act was created.

    By the way, were you there when Dunn was a soloist and do you knwo the reason why he was not initally successful. Were you there? Names and dates please.

  56. Jon
    February 3, 2011 at 11:07 am

    @Waynoe Try rereading what I posted; maybe pointing to the words and sounding them out as you go along will help you figure out that I said nothing about anyone being in attendance when Brooks & Dunn partnered up. Neither did I say anything about the reason why Dunn was unsuccessful as a solo artist. It’s you and the other anonymous self-proclaimed experts who like to dish up “explanations” and “interpretations” that have nothing but wind behind them.

    On his own prior to the partnership, Ronnie Dunn had exactly two charting singles – one in 1983, one in 1984 (i.e., more than 5 years earlier). Both peaked at #59 on the Billboard chart. That is a fact. Chew it over for a while and see if you can’t learn to recognize what one looks like.

  57. luckyoldsun
    February 3, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    Then that would suggest that saying the previously-unsuccessful Dunn was simply “saddled with” Brooks “for marketing purposes” was, let’s see, what’s the word? Oh, yeah: ir was wrong.

    Jonny–
    You have this idea that everyone other than yourself must be as precise as a computer in formulating their words and must spell everything out to the letter. You also seem not to recognize that things can change over close to two decades.

    B&D in its ’90s heyday was a fresh act that worked for both parties, even while Dunn did the bulk of the work.
    I think in later years, the act got a bit stale and Dunn found the whole thing to be confining and oppressive. He was recognized by his peers as one of the greatest singers in the history of the format but while Jackson, Toby, Kenny et al. were able to experiment and make records on their own terms, he had to do everything within the rigid framework of B&D.

  58. Paul W Dennis
    February 3, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    Perhaps Ronnie Dunn would never have emerged as a successful solo act. There have been many “can’t miss” phenoms who actually did miss.

    Does anyone remember Mark Gray ? He was regarded as Columbia’s star of the future – actually regarded as having more potential than Vince Gill. It almost happened for Mark – almost but not quite. Warren Smith was regarded as a superstar in waiting during the early 1960s – anybody remember him ? . It didn’t happen for Linda Davis, either, and it took forever to happen for Rodney Crowell, and when it did happen, it was fleeting

  59. Tammy
    February 3, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Ronnie Dunn history lesson #1
    He was unsuccessful as a solo artist in the 80′s because he was recording for Churchill Records in Tulsa OK. They didn’t have a clue on how to market a country artist. He was also reluctant to move to Nashville because he didn’t want to leave his kids behind. His current wife and Tim DuBois finally convinced him that moving to Nashville was the only way he would be successful. DuBois put him with Kix because he didn’t have a slot for a male solo artist and the rest is history. This has been said in many interviews over the years.

    As for the song, I love it. I like the message of the song and the vocals are superb. I would have preferred a little less production, but I’m not the artist!

  60. Paul W Dennis
    February 3, 2011 at 8:49 pm

    “There’s that historical perspective (but it’s Sally Mountain Show, not Singers)…”

    Jon – I know you do not like being contradicted but in 1967 it was the Sally Mountain Singers – the name changed shortly thereafter to Sally Mountain Show. I suppose either answer would be correct.

  61. Jon
    February 3, 2011 at 10:20 pm

    No, either answer would not be correct; one would be correct, one would be misleading. Rhonda recorded with two songs with the Sally Mountain Singers at the age of 5; she joined the cast of the Sally Mountain Show around the same time. Shortly thereafter, as you note, the band took the name of the show and that was the name they were still using 20+ years later when Rhonda left. Saying or implying that she left the Sally Mountain Singers when she had spent virtually her entire career with them – for more than 20 years – under a different name would be misleading. It would be like saying that Flatt & Scruggs left the Kentuckians, or that Ricky Skaggs left the Kentucky Mountain Boys in 1975. Those weren’t the names of the bands when they left, and the Sally Mountain Singers wasn’t the name of the band Rhonda left, nor had it been the name of the band for decades.

  62. Jon
    February 3, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    Fact: before partnering up with Kix Brooks, Ronnie Dunn’s career was essentially unsuccessful.

    Fact. Brooks & Dunn were monstrously successful for a couple of decades.

    Fact: Multiple opportunities to pursue solo careers presented themselves to Ronnie Dunn and Kix Brooks during that period. Neither availed himself thereof.

    Fact: Dunn’s now pursuing a solo career.

    Fact: Rather than discuss the music that Dunn is presenting in his solo career launch, various anonymous self-proclaimed “experts” prefer to engage in idle speculation about the reasons for fact #1, about the relative contributions the two partners made in the course of creating fact #2, about Dunn’s career options, about his view of his past career, about “insiders’” views concerning same and more; in short, they would rather spend time talking about stuff they don’t really know anything about than in talking about something that they actually would know something about – namely, their own reactions to the music.

    Question: Why?

  63. David Allen
    February 3, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    Waynoe is a cool name. I like the song but it reminds me of the productions from The Climb by Miley Cyrus. Ronnie can sing anything and wish him good luck. Check out The Harters. Their If I Run video and song are really good.

  64. the pistolero
    February 4, 2011 at 12:46 am

    Believe it or not, my favorite B&D song is “Mexican Minutes,” one of the tunes on whick Kix sang lead. RD is a hell of a singer, no doubt about it.

    And trust me, Waynoe, Luckyoldsun, et al — you really just should tune certain people out. Life’s too short to argue with self-righteous, egotistical, vitriolic know-it-alls. Especially on the Internet.

  65. WAYNOE
    February 4, 2011 at 8:08 am

    @David – Hey, that is a good song. I will check them out more.

    @The Pistolero – Maybe if we ignore certain people they will just go away? Nahhh.

  66. Paul
    February 7, 2011 at 8:40 pm

    I agree, why argue ad infinitum about arbitrary predictions of Ronnie’s potential in the future as solo artist? When is this album out?

  67. Sue
    February 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    I’m just a simple gal. In my life I need this song and I think it is very singable. Human beings are easily judgmental about others. Human beings are often unloving and disrespectful even to the ones they love the most. I feel lucky that I changed the radio station today and heard this in my car.

  68. Barbara Ward
    February 13, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Welcome back Ronnie!!!!!!!!! Have missed your voice and Bleed Red is beautiful!! Can’t wait for the CD

  69. kathy
    February 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    i knew this was happening ronnie can really sing kixs is such a sweety ihate to see him left out

  70. travis hensen
    March 25, 2011 at 11:09 am

    i have to say in opinion that this song is great i love the rythem of how he sings the words along with the tempo of the song me and my girlfriend listen to this song when we fight and it makes me stop and think of how stupid it was of us to fight over whatever is but this song is in my opinion is great.

  71. Karen
    April 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    I’m glad that there are some entertainers that feel that they have “grown” enough to intuitively challenge the human condition. While critics, especially music critics, expect Ronnie Dunn and also Kix Brooks to “remain” in the “box” that Country Music has expected and projected some twenty-odd years. I personally find it refreshing that they can grow and expand their minds. I’m sure that I’m not the only fan of Brooks and Dunn that was extremely disappointed when they retired, however, to accept that their growth as people and artists should be inspiring to all of us. Surprise to all of those people that expected Ronnie Brooks and Kix Dunn to “retire” and sit back. Watch out……..Someone that is willing to push, challenge and question—wait a minute….isn’t that what Brooks and Dunn did twenty years ago! Well, Kix, it’s your turn… I think both of you guys are going to prove “entertaining” as a “divorced” duo. Your partnership lasted a long time and was beneficial and productive for both of you. Your retirements have now enabled you to reach that hallmark in your lives that will allow you to grow beyond “others” expectations. Keep going….

  72. Waynoe
    April 1, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    I believe this song is #12 on billboard this week after being out about 8 weeks.

  73. Code
    April 1, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    The song is stumbling on the charts and will probably end up like strange.

  74. Matt B
    April 1, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Code,

    In 8 weeks it’s #12 up 2 from last week, what did you expect? for it to be #1 already? This is remarkably fast, especially given Dunn’s recent past as Brooks & Dunn (which was being closed out of Radio).

  75. Waynoe
    April 1, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    @MATTB – Exactly. Some do not think Dunn will do well as a soloist due to the pattern of past groups/duos breaking out into solo acts and usualy not doing well. I generally concur with that.

    I think Dunn may be an exception as the B/D farce was Dunn anyway. Especially if he has good songs and forgets the 50-year-old-guys-singing-about-teeny bikinis crap that was much of their recent fare. I “suspect” that was Brooks contributions. We can certainly do without that.

  76. curious cat
    April 9, 2011 at 7:18 am

    I’m late to the party here. I mostly agree with the reviewer, plodding melody, etc. When I first heard the song I was dismayed, felt it wasn’t worthy of Dunn’s considerable vocal talents. But it sort of grew on me although it will probably never be a favorite.
    So much said about Brooks & Dunn, and as someone said, neither was successful until Tim DuBois, by some stroke of genius, paired them up. Bashing Kix as a “silent partner” I don’t buy.
    Kix has done some wonderful songs. He was just outshone by the man with the golden voice. I love “Memory Town,” “My Heart’s Not a Hotel,”South of Santa Fe,” “The Ballad of Jerry Jess Walker,” “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone”, “Her West Was Wilder.”
    And he wrote their big hit “Only in America” which Dunn sang lead on.
    To me, Kix Brooks is an excellent folk singer, very good on wry, sad or funny little songs. He doesn’t have the Dunn pipes and he knows it. Ronnie is the rock n roll tenor with a voice that’s more extraordinary than I suspect some fans understand. But Kix comes across as a man who is very comfortable in his own skin, knows what he is good at and what he isn’t.

  77. curious cat
    April 9, 2011 at 7:28 am

    I broke off to make sure something got printed. Waynoe makes good points but I wish folks would stop bashing Kix or bashing each other. Kix was not a silent partner. He was important. From what I have read, Ronnie is a very shy man. Some early performances I’ve seen suggest that with all his passion and intensity, he wasn’t good at engaging an audience. He reportedly couldn’t even talk to people or look them in the eye. Mr. Personality Kix was the antidote. Kix had to know from the getgo that this man had more talent as a singer than he would ever have, but neither one was making it, so I figure he signed on with his eyes open.

  78. curious cat
    April 9, 2011 at 7:37 am

    Waynoe, the songs I think should be forgotten aren’t what you said but there is something goofy about men in their 50s singing,”Little Miss Honky Tonk” and “Rock My World, Little Miss Country Girl.” Good songs in their time but best buried.
    From what I have read, it seems as if it was Ronnie who realized B & D was growing obsolete and wanted out. They aren’t dead yet. I am sure they will both keep contributing.

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