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Ronnie Dunn, ‘Let the Cowboy Rock’ – Song Review

Ronnie Dunn
Arista Nashville

Ronnie Dunn changes tempo with the third single from his self-titled solo album. ‘Let the Cowboy Rock’ is reminiscent of Brooks and Dunn hits like ‘Play Something Country’ and ‘You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl.’ In fact, there’s little that distinguishes this song from one the duo would have recorded five years ago.

The story — about a cowboy drowning his broken heart in whiskey — is one Dunn may have been better off passing on to a younger singer. His vocals are convincing, but fans are aware that his rowdiest days are behind him.

“Let the cowboy rock, let the good times roll / This is where the hurt stops or where the whiskey flows / Let him drink every drop, go, go, go ’til he drops / Let the cowboy rock,” Dunn sings. It helps that the story is delivered from a third-person perspective.

You think he’s still a little green / Y’all, he’s fresh off the farm / Some pretty little thing put a whooping on his heart / He’s walking to the left, leaning to the right / Talking to himself, putting up a fight,” he adds during the second verse.

Despite a lack of major commercial success with songs like ‘Bleed Red’ and ‘Cost of Livin’,’ Dunn found a nice niche to work in. It’s difficult to be both an elder statesman of country music and the resident badass. The sizzling guitars and rock ‘n’ roll production on ‘Let the Cowboy Rock’ show he’s still got an ear for what’s hot in country music, but songs like this don’t stand up to similar hits by artists like Jason Aldean. The irony is that Aldean was influenced by country-rock acts like Brooks and Dunn, but with this style of song, the students have surpassed the teacher.

3 Stars

Listen to Ronnie Dunn, ‘Let the Cowboy Rock’

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