Kenny Chesney may’ve just finished the most intimate album of his career, but that doesn’t mean he’s forgotten his friends. The man who’s recorded with Grace Potter (“You & Tequila”), Mac McAnally (“Down The Road”), George Strait (“Shiftwork”), Joe Walsh (“Wild Ride”) and Uncle Kracker (“When the Sun Goes Down”) enlists two legends Willie Nelson and the Wailers Band for Life on a Rock, due April 30.
“The spirit of this record is so much about friendship,” says the man knee deep in his No Shoes Nation Tour, which includes 19 stadiums this summer. “A lot of these songs were inspired by the people I’ve met, the lives we’ve shared and the way they inspired me. It felt kind of odd to not have some of the musical people who’ve inspired me be a part of this record…
“So, I reached out to Willie – because who is more inspiring? Any chance you have to be around him, take it. You will be more for the time you share,” Chesney says. “He sang on ‘Lucky Old Sun’ with me, and Buddy Cannon and I got to produce his Moment of Forever, which is one of the things I’m proudest of in my career… and I wanted to do something different with him this time.”
Something different is the Calypso under-towed “Coconut Tree,” a whimsical song about making one’s way in the island. With marimba and steel drums, the pair sound like old friends laughing and telling each other a tall one!
“And the Wailers Band I’d never actually recorded with,” Chesney says of working with the iconic reggae musicians. “They came and played the CMA Awards with me one year, but we never went into the studio! And I really wanted to have that experience with Family Man and those guys, to go to Jamaica and make music and even write with them… “
“Spread The Love” is a bright reggae churner of coming together, punctuated with horns and marked by the notion of making the world better by loving one, loving all. In some ways a departure for the man who wrote 8 of the 10 songs on Life On A Rock, it feels at home with some of Chesney’s more tempo songs.
With “Pirate Flag” sitting inside the Top 10 on the country singles charts, Chesney’s song to launch a summer has been moving up the chart at a lightning pace. Though a departure from the rest of Life On A Rock, the soul-seeking record takes a more reflective look at life, the people who make us who we are and those moments that we don’t even realize how precious they are until they’re gone.
Pre-order Life On A Rock on iTunes now by clicking HERE.