Ronnie Dunn Humphead/Arista

The debut release from the Brooks & Dunn stalwart after the break-up of that highly successful duo starts in fine style with the rockin' Singer In A Cowboy Band, one of many co-writes that Dunn has chosen for the album. He is also sitting in the producer's chair which gives him the control of how this album has come out. The end result highlights his recognizable, authoritative and emotive voice. Making as much of the ballads like Your Kind Of Love and Cost Of Livin' (a song about an hard-working ex military man looking at his life and how difficult it is to survive economically, something that Dunn may be a long way with his current lifestyle but a lyric he delivers with conviction) as he does on the uptempo tracks. How Far To Waco is one of the more catchy and attractive of the album's twelve songs. It has mariachi horns and the kind of bounce once associated with the early Mavericks. Let The Cowboy Rock opens with the line "Ol' boy At the bar" and you know your about to witness some high-octane rockin'  country. The sound, however, is aimed squarely at mainstream radio and so the rougher edges never get too ragged as it might if it where an independent release. The ballads out weigh the rockers here and one of the best is the Dunn/Terry McBride song I Can't Help Myself where again proves his worth as a singer with some life experience in his voice. That duo with the help of Bobby Pinson also wrote the final song which closes the album in similar style. It's a piano led-lament that will appeal to his many Brooks & Dunn fans. The album is then a fine first step with just enough change to establish his singular talent without in any way alienating his existing fan base.