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"I want Huck to know what it means to be a Southern gentleman," says Ronnie. "My own grandmother went to great lengths to make sure I knew simple things like how and when to open the door for a lady. And the best thing my mama taught me was to pray."
Apparently those manners and Southern sensibilities ended up paying off and turning the head of Ronnie's wife Janine, but he says she is only really impressed with him when he's making himself useful around the house. The singer admits being a handyman is actually a hidden talent of his, and something that might surprise fans a bit about him.
"I get around OK with a toolbox," says Ronnie. "As a kid, I picked up skills following my dad through the oil fields of Oklahoma and West Texas. My wife Janine is hard to impress, but she does think it's cool when I fix things around the house."
On his own as a solo artist now after 20 years as a duo with Kix Brooks, Ronnie appreciates the devotion of his country fans, whom he respects for their straightforwardness and candor. "Country fans are the most loyal in the world. They can be like family and will call your b.s. in a heartbeat. I like that."
For Ronnie, music really was like family to him, as a kid moving around so much during the early years of his life. He attended 13 different schools in 12 years, and learned to leave everything behind and become attached to nothing, until the day he discovered music and began to play. Then it all changed.
"I never collected anything from all the different cities we lived in," Ronnie tells The Huffington Post. "I did just the opposite, I left everything behind. I didn't keep up with friends, and I didn't collect anything. This is where music came into play. It was the only thing consistent in my life. During college I realized I had a music predisposition and really got involved in it. I started playing bass guitar. That was how I began to fit in."
After becoming half of one of the biggest duos in country music, Ronnie soon found himself with the means to collect anything he wanted, and he began investing in Russian art. His passion for it became so great, he eventually helped found the Museum of Russian Art in Minneapolis along with one of his business partners. Since releasing his own latest music masterpiece, his self-titled solo album, Ronnie has been touring around the country. He kicks off the latest leg of his tour in Grand Rapids on June 1.