COUNTRY THIS: At Home with Ronnie Dunn


Ronnie Dunn is a country music singer and songwriter. For years he was the dominant voice of the duo Brooks and Dunn, which holds the record for most awarded act in the history of country music. Dunn’s second solo album, Peace Love and Country Music will be released April 8th. In these COUNTRY THIS posts Ronnie Dunn shares, in his own words, stories about his life and music.

I have this place West of Nashville, about a thirty minute drive from town. It’s in a valley at the bottom of a dead end country road with the Turnbull River running the full length of the East border. Four hundred-foot high limestone bluffs frame in the whole property, making it look like something out of a movie. Five years ago, I drove out here with the intent to build a tractor shed and ended up constructing a two-story, 40 x 80 barn “house.”

With the help of a couple of buddies–real life hard working men, a John Deere 640 tractor and an old bulldozer I found at an auction down the road, I cut hiking and four-wheeler trails through the woods. We named each trail after a songs that I’ve written. Red Dirt Road leads up the hill from the barn to the main ridge that runs the full length of the ridge for a mile to a spot I named lookout point, six hundred feet over the river.

The main hangout is the bonfire pit, a popular gathering place for songwriter friends or for a casual get together with friends and family. Seems like there is always music ringing through the woods or coming from someone bangin’ the dents out of that proverbial next “big” country song.

The history in this place is rich. Our land is the site of a pre-Civil War iron forge. We’ve found old hand hewn beams washed up after occasional flash floods along the river bank. That leads us to believe the original site is close. I even found a single grave, marked and dated 1846. And of course, it’s not a stretch to believe that this place was moonshine country back in the day. The thick woods up the hill from the river on the West side would have provided good cover for outlaw “shiners.”

Maybe the best part of living out here is that the place is crawling with wildlife. Deer and turkeys everywhere. It’s nothing to see a Coyote, bobcat or red tail hawk floating way overhead like a dot in the sky, catching a thermal draft off the bluff. He keeps the rabbits on their toes. We even have bald eagles. It took me two years, but I found the nest a few weeks ago, high in the top of a tall pine tree on the ridge above the river. I chased that bird for a year before I got a decent picture.

He’s worth it.


We’re celebrating the release of Ronnie Dunn’s latest solo album, Peace Love and Country Music, available April 8th. 

Come back tomorrow for a something special from Ronnie Dunn.

“Music is the soundtrack to life. Enticing visuals are just as important. When and if the two come together in harmony, good things happen. I believe that the music that I make has to depict an honest representation of who I am. How I live and my life experiences come together to define the songs that I write and record. In a perfect world, I would capture the visual with the sound track. The people at Country Outfitter are helping achieve that goal.” ~Ronnie Dunn

Image Source: Ronnie Dunn