A few months ago, I found out about Don Henley’s top-secret Country Album that he’s recording in Nashville with the help of some BIG Country Stars. Well, then Ronnie Dunn let the Eagle out of the bag on his Facebook page, saying he had recorded a song with Alison Krauss and Don Henley for Don’s Country Album…but there was no word on what song it was…whether it was a Country Classic, or what…So, I caught up with Ronnie Dunn…I wanted to get any details I could about the project…I had no idea that Ronnie would tell me EVERYTHING…
Ashley Mann: The project that you sang on with Alison Krauss and Don Henley, what was that like?
Ronnie Dunn: Terrifying. I walked into the studio and Don is, Don’s kinda shy. Golly, he put his hands in his pockets and I’m not sure if he planned on which song we were gonna sing. He said I’ve recorded a couple of covers…I’ve recorded some Eagles’ stuff…and he thought for a minute...and I looked over at the board...and there’s Stan lynch from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers! He’s producing…of course we just take off and say, "Holy Cow! Stan Lynch!" 'Cause we used to watch that DVD...all the guys in the band. It’s our go-to cd. "Look how they put the band together, look how this works, look how Stan sings the high"…Anyway, it was really fun. Of course Alison comes in, and she sings everything like RADAR. So Don picks, of all things…"Seven Bridges Road"...alright...which is the song that the Eagles do acapella. And he goes, “let’s go try that.” Knowing that I don’t know what key it’s in..so Stan played the song for us. There were 3 mics set up in the studio, and Don goes, “I called Randy Travis’ people to see if he’d sing bass…and we had like 4 part harmony….and he said they said he doesn’t sing harmony. And I started laughing halfway thru the story…and said,”Don I’m not sure if I sing harmony either!” So it’s like, Uh-Oh! So he says, “let’s go try it anyway, ok, well you sing the lead.” So we got out there and it was just a hair low for me, and I said, "you know what, if you’ll just be patient with me"…and I’m thinking, I’m talking Don Henley…of the Eagles here, right? I’m gonna ask him to like, coach me thru this harmony part. And stand here and cut this thing in the room together…
Well, Ronnie told me that all in all…working with Don Henley went better than he expected:
Ronnie Dunn: He went above and beyond to work with me on the part and made sure we cut it…LIVE.
Ashley Mann: LIVE??!
Ronnie Dunn: The 3 of us standing there. You’ll hear 1-2-3-4 “There is a..” Away we went. He was so cool. He texted me when I left..after I got home and said, “Man, you did a great job. Thanks for being so patient.” Couldn’t have been any nicer.
Ashley Mann: So you walked in there totally blind…didn’t know who you were singing with or what song?
Ronnie Dunn: No, not a clue. He just pulled one out of the air. And of course it’s not fair cause Alison Kraus has been to the Super Bowl a hundred times...so has Don!! I just showed up to the game!! (laughs) I just came in there to "Germ" Don and Stan!
Ashley Mann: How long did it take y’all to do that?
Ronnie Dunn: Uh..a couple of hours..but he was good. He would stop. He wanted it phrased like the Eagles, and I talked to him at one point and I said “Man! Cause I heard stories about the Eagles. They have this thing, where it’s called the "Circle of Fire"...where they all sit in a circle and play and sing the harmony parts until it’s like, just air-tight. He says, “No, no this is fast! The Eagles,” he says, “we’d work for days and days and days on stuff." So it was cool. So I kinda walked away feeling, OK.
Ashley Mann: When do we get to hear it?
Ronnie Dunn: I don’t know. It’s a work in progress. He’s still recording.
Can you imagine Ronnie Dunn, Alison Krauss and Don Henley singing THIS?
LIVE and acapella?!! As Ronnie would say, “Holy Cow!!!!” I can’t wait to hear it!