As Kenny Chesney begins ramping up for the April 30 release of his highly personal Life On A Rock, he’s lining-out his television appearances. The first show he wanted to lock up was “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” because the 4 time Academy of Country Music and 4 time Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year had a vision: beyond performing “Pirate Flag,” he wanted to play “Spread The Love,” the song he co-wrote with the Wailers Band, with Fallon’s musically progressive band The Roots.
“What ?uestlove and his guys do is beyond what most people would even begin to think of,” says the singer/songwriter. “They push all music beyond… and you can feel them getting under a song and really lifting it up. When Fam (Aston “Family Man” Barrett) asked me if I’d like to help finish this song they had, I was, like, ‘Sure…’ and intimidated all at once. They’re the Wailers, you know?”
“I wasn’t sure exactly, but I was watching the news – and it was all so negative. I figured we need to counter that somehow. So we got on the phone and talked it out, figured out what we wanted the song to say! Now that it’s done, I wanna take it to the world… But I wanna do it with people who musically can bring that higher sense of being to the song. Which is everything the Roots do, no matter who they’re working with.”
For Chesney, who just finished headlining the Tortuga Music Festival on South Fort Lauderdale Beach to raise ocean preservation awareness, is ready to start bringing this new music to the fans. With “Pirate Flag” sitting at #7 on the country singles charts and his No Shoes Nation Tour in full swing, Life On A Rock is almost ready to hit the streets.
Beyond the highly melodic “Lindy,” (Get Lindy when you Pre-Order the album HERE.) Chesney teased the crowd – including a flotilla of over 60 boats anchored off the Florida coast – with a very stripped-down rendition of “Must Be Something I Missed” on Saturday night. Sharing verses with co-writer Mac McAnally, the Van Morrison-inflected song is just a taste of the diversity Life On A Rock is comprised of.
“I wrote most of these without a guitar,” Chesney says. “Not even thinking anyone would ever hear them. They were written for the sake of the song, not losing the moment and remembering things that should be really important, but get lost in the rush of what we do. ‘Something I Missed’ is absolutely about that, and I loved playing it for people.”
Heading into a two night stand at the Joint attached to Las Vegas’ Hard Rock Hotel & Casino this weekend, the No Shoes Nation will get its most intimate stop on the high impact tour that includes 19 stadiums, as well as several arenas and amphitheaters. Closing out with a two night stand at Foxboro, Massachusetts’ Gillette Stadium, the man who has sold in excess of a million tickets each of his past ten tours is making the most of summer once again.