There’s nothing sweeter than reuniting with someone you love. Ronnie Dunn is capturing the power of that emotion over and over in his new video for “Together Again,” and he’s offering fans a chance to be a part of it.
Dunn is inviting folks to share videos of loved ones that they have been able to reunite with during the COVID-19 pandemic. “There are kids reuniting with grandparents and a lot of nurses coming home and reuniting with family members when they can,” Dunn tells Sounds Like Nashville. “They are coming in daily. The video is definitely going to be a tearjerker.”
Dunn says he plans to meet with his team and look at all the submissions to decide which ones will be included in the “Together Again” video. “This was Braden’s idea. He came up with it and I think it’s a great idea,” Dunn says, giving credit to Braden Carney, former Big Machine Label Group Director of Marketing and Social Media, who is now working with Dunn.
“Together Again” is a cover of the Buck Owens’ classic that Dunn recorded for his current album, Re-Dunn, a collection of 24 covers of country, pop and rock classics. “We recorded it on our own. No label would commit to 24 or 25 songs, especially cover songs. We’re good with that. That’s one of the things that make it unique,” he says. “In terms of ‘Together Again,’ it’s the perfect timing for something of that concept. I think it’s going to be a big hit. Streaming has skyrocketed since the COVID deal and I’m finding out that all the numbers are coming back now that the people who are streaming this music are gravitating to familiar tunes, not new stuff. It’s doing really well.”
Those interested in submitting videos for consideration can upload them at this website. The deadline for entries is Aug. 30th.
Is there someone Dunn is looking forward to reuniting with when it’s safe to do so? “My son and his family are in Sacramento,” he says of his son Jesse Wayne, whom they call JW. “He and his wife have three kids, our grandkids. They are going to try to see if they can come in September. They aren’t going to fly, so I told them yesterday to look into renting an RV and making a road trip. They love to do that kind of stuff. Once we get them here, I may keep them for awhile.”
Since the pandemic hit, Dunn has been laying low and being cautious. “I went out to my farm west of town in March and stayed there for months,” he says. “Now I’m going back and forth from the house here in Nashville and back out there. I’m doing everything you’re supposed to do—wearing a mask, at one point I was wearing gloves and all kinds of stuff, social distancing, no hand shaking, all that.”
Dunn admits being off the road has given him a chance to enjoy working on his farm and engage in activities he hasn’t done in ages, if ever. “I bought three bush hogs—mowers you pull behind tractors—all different sizes. We built roads out there. We’ve cleared land. You name it. We’re in the middle of it. I’ve done things that I’ve never done. In 30 years, I would have never considered getting around a lawn mower or weed eater. If I heard that I’d take off in the other direction because of allergies and stuff messing with my moneymaker,” he says of having to protect his voice for performances, “but I’m just throwing caution to the wind and becoming a real human again. I’m doing all kinds of stuff. That’s kind of fun and refreshing.”
Dunn has a reputation for being candid in interviews and during this conversation, he mentions that his 25-year-old daughter Haley contracted COVID. Thankfully, her bout with the virus was mild and she’s already recovered. Ronnie and his wife, Janine, were tested and the results came back negative. He admits to being concerned about the virus. “If it were guaranteed that my symptoms would be like hers [Haley], I’d step up and just go, ‘Hey give me a dust of that and let’s get over it,’ but you just don’t know what’s going to happen and how it’s going to hit you,” Dunn says.
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Between working on his farm and screening submissions for the “Together Again” video, Dunn will have his hands busy in the weeks to come. And he recently got an interesting offer he’s excited about. “I got a text about a month ago from Miranda Lambert and she said, ‘I’m sitting here listening to some of your songs and I want to write with you,’” Dunn shares. “We’re doing it virtually back and forth. I’ll throw ideas at her and we’ve got two ideas going right now that are hot and heavy, so we’ll see. It’s a way to stay busy for us.”