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"I was all over the place, literally and figuratively. I was cutting all over town everywhere, nonstop," Ronnie acknowledges. "I became a man obsessed, and maybe a man a little lost, too. But I kept going because making this album all it could be became so important to me. I wanted this to be something special for all the fans who've given me this opportunity -- and for myself, too."
The Oklahoma native's brain is always working, discovering unique and innovative ways to sing about love and heartbreak. Ronnie, who has long been lauded for his amazing vocals and poignant lyrics, is considered to be one of country music's premier artists. "It's a part of chaos [being an artist]. What a fine line there is between artistry and insanity," Ronnie laughingly tells The Boot. "There's no formula for it, and I think a lot of people when they're around you -- even those closest to you -- when you're in that whirl of creativity and you're grabbing those things out of the air, there's no rational process."
Using words such as insanity, chaos and "no rational process," could lead one to wonder if Ronnie considers himself a tortured artist -- not in a Vincent van Gogh-cut-off-your-own ear way but in the creative-juices-are-constantly-flowing kind of way.
"It evolves ... sometimes," he says with a laugh. "I hope [I'm] not. I can see where that can be sometimes, because [the songwriting process] can be confusing at times, because you never know. I write so many songs, and then I turn around and go, 'When this project is over, I'm going to go right back in a straight line to that little bin over there and pick up some more hit songs.' It doesn't work that way. It's an arbitrary -- to say the least -- process."
Ronnie's self-titled solo album, featuring his hit 'Bleed Red,' is set to arrive in stores June 7.