Ronnie Dunn came to Las Vegas two days early to get ready for The Academy of Country Music Awards and his first concert since the iconic duo Brooks & Dunn dissolved last September.
He wanted to get his voice acclimated to the dry desert air and obsess over the details. He says that while most of his compatriots are out partying, he's been in his room worrying.
The 57-year-old Dunn will debut his first set of new material publicly Saturday night at the ACM Concerts at Fremont Street Experience. Then he'll perform his new single, "Bleed Red," during Sunday's show, aired live on CBS from the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
He said Friday after rehearsals that he's not sure if fans will demand he play hits from his Brooks & Dunn days during the Fremont concert, and plans to "make it up as I go."
"I've had lectures from everybody," Dunn said. "A good friend, Barbara Orbison, Roy Orbison's widow, was telling me she knows Paul McCartney and she talked about all the anxiety that he went through _ and I didn't know this _ about doing Beatles songs when he first came out and still to this day there are certain songs that he still has a lot of anxiety about doing."
Dunn will release his first post-Brooks & Dunn album on June 7. He produced the self-titled record and has been enjoying the life as a solo artist after more than 20 years with Kix Brooks. The duo was a mainstay at the awards and he's had plenty of experience in Vegas.
"It's a blast," Dunn said. "This is probably the most fun awards show to come to _ and that can be good and bad."
AP writer Caitlin R. King contributed to this report.