Ain’t no takin’ the country out of Ronnie Dunn. When someone is considered an icon, they didn’t likely get that way by being unidentifiable. Ronnie Dunn opens his mouth to sing, and country music comes out. That’s a fact, and the last one you’ll hear before pushing play on his new single, “Ain’t No Trucks In Texas.” From the first words out of his mouth, “There ain’t no bar, on the edge of town,” it’s like welcoming home a long lost friend. You may not have heard from him in awhile, but there’s a familiarity there that fits like a worn glove. Even selling a pack of lies, Ronnie Dunn is three chords and the truth.

     In his first single for Scott Borchetta’s, Nash Icon Records, Ronnie Dunn hasn’t come out trying to change his image. When you have the word ‘Cowboy’ tattooed in large letters on your forearm, people NASH ICON RECORDS LOGOexpect you to “Play Something Country” when you walk into a bar. In a move that smacks of Borchetta’s brilliance, he signed Dunn as an icon at a time when country music is in the midst of an identity crisis. With Ronnie Dunn, there is no such problem. He picks the right song by knowing what suits him, delivers it flawlessly, and produces it himself to ensure that it’s just right. Wendell Mobley, Tony Martin, and Neil Thrasher wrote this fictional tale, and Ronnie Dunn made it sound like the truth. When you’re an icon, people tend to believe you.

     The song opens as if this cowboy has just walked into a bar, ready to challenge anyone who doubts him. With a strong drum beat and near orchestral strength from the band, he sets the tone. Feigning DUNN, RONNIE SINGLE COVERtimidity in his lyrical statements, he starts off at half vocal strength. By the time he hits the chorus, he’s holding nothing back. It’s a full onslaught of the truth with the band backing up every word. The delivery turns tender in the middle of the song with the words, “There ain’t no phone, sitting by my drink, I don’t hope it’s you, every time it rings,” but he can’t deny regret in letting her go without leaning into the vocal and pushing the volume. The build up of the instrumentation here backs up the strength of his conviction. Beginning with, “They don’t get high in Colorado, party down in New Orleans,” he’s wavering on the brink of disbelief. Resigned to the truth, he opens his heart to the audience. “I ain’t had me one too many, and if you believe that’s true, there ain’t no trucks in Texas, and I ain’t missin’ you.” Hanging on the word ‘you,’ the guitar picks up his cry for help and delivers him to the final, “I ain’t missin’ you,” sung with the desperation of wanting her back.

     Ronnie Dunn shows here that even cowboys have a soft side, and it usually takes a woman to bring that out. It’s a classic country tale without an ounce of throwback nostalgia. An iconic cowboy image in the midst of the modern world can still take a beating through a heartbreak. The regret of letting ‘the one’ get away is a timeless tale. Ronnie Dunn brings this one to life in the triumph of a country song that we haven’t heard in awhile. With a voice like that, he makes even the lies sound good. When this one plays on country radio, and I have no doubt it will, I expect it will be turned up in all those trucks that ain’t in Texas, and everywhere else as well. Welcome back “Singer in a Cowboy Band!” We ain’t missin’ you…..ok, maybe a little.


Ain't No Trucks In Texas     


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Bev Miskus

Blogger of all things music related in Nashville and beyond.

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