100 Proof Neon
Though his albums with Brooks & Dunn number in the double digits, Ronnie Dunn has only released a handful of solo albums over the years. 100 Proof Neon is Dunn’s fifth outing on his own, following 2020’s Re-Dunn, and it’s a collection that proves the country icon still has plenty of gas left in the tank. For starters, Dunn’s voice sounds as fine as it ever has, rich with emotion and anchored by the nimble delivery that initially established him as one of country music’s preeminent vocalists. “Where the Neon Lies” channels ’90s country without devolving into pastiche, with a vocal from Dunn that will have longtime fans reminiscing. “Two Steppers, Waltzes, and Shuffles” delivers on its name, offering up a honky-tonk-ready dance number. And a real high point of the album is Dunn’s cover of Ashley Monroe’s striking 2015 song “The Blade,” which Dunn treats with reverence and care. “You'll hear writers and old pros here in town talk about, ‘That’s an old song,’” Dunn tells Apple Music. “‘It's been around forever, but no one's cut it. It's never punched through the clouds.’ I tried to get it [for] the last record before this. And Ashley Monroe got it at the last minute and made it the title of her record. That's just one of those songs that they're few and far between.” Parker McCollum and Jake Worthington guest on the LP.