No Shoes Radio didn’t start out to be a place of community for artists across genres, but more a reflection of the sounds in Kenny Chesney’s head. A little bit reggae, a handful of rock & roll, a lot of songwriter- and roots-driven music, a dash of old school country, the truly free-form internet radio station is about blurring the lines between genre until they’re gone… and in the spirit of that commingling, the man who’s had 19 #1s, recorded duets with everyone from Willie Nelson to Uncle Kracker, Mac McAnally to Dave Matthews and become the sound of summer for a whole new century.
“I think people respond to music that makes them feel something,” says the man who’s written the multiple week #1 “Beer In Mexico,” as well as recorded the free and easy “Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven,” “Out Last Night,” “When The Sun Goes Down” and “Never Wanted Nothin’ More.” “It’s not about what kind of music, but how does it make me feel… and when you start looking at songs from that perspective, suddenly there’s a whole lot more in common than is different.”
To expand that idea, Chesney debuts a series called “Hangin’ With…,” featuring discussions and unplugged jamming with core air people, guests and whomever is in the moment. It’s about capturing music people sitting around, trading songs, stories and insights in the off-hours – and offering that illumination to the many music lovers who would never have cause to be in those kinds of rooms.
“There’s magic when music people come together,” Chesney says. “What we talk about, what happens when a guitar’s passed, what one memory or experience sparks in other people… If you love music, you love life; in a room of people who share that, swapping songs and laughs and opening up to a kindred soul, you’re amazed at what comes out.”
“That’s what inspired me these ‘Hangin’ With…’ shows: letting listeners experience some of the amazing musical people I know in a way they wouldn’t otherwise. Along the way, Dave Matthews, Steve Miller, all kinds of people are gonna be hanging with us.”
In keeping with NSR’s sense of discovery, which Chesney has very much wanted to be a harbor for, the first show is “Hangin’ with Mishka,” a West Indies-based reggae artist whose work has been heralded by Britian’s New Musical Express and has had multiple CDs appear on both Billboard’s Reggae and Heatseeker Charts; his most recent. Talk About peaked at #2 on the Reggae chart.
“We played then studio version of his ‘Shadow in the Shade,’ then Mishka did acoustic versions of ‘All Jokes Aside,’ ‘Fallen Rise’ before Tambo, Clayton, Mishka, Matthew McConaughey and I jammed on ‘Stir It Up.’ We talked about life, love, music, songs, memories… it was such a moment.”
Fans of the station that has no genre will be able to listen in this Wednesday, June 23 at 3:00 EST. There will be two rebroadcasts on June 25th and 27th at 9:00 EST and 12:00 EST respectively. No Shoes Radio can be found at www.NoShoesRadio.com or through the Kenny Chesney