It’s rare for Kenny Chesney to have a career first, but today, he does. When “Get Along,” the first single from Songs for the Saints, hit Billboard’s #10 slot and MediaBase’s #9 position, it joined “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” his duet with old friend and songwriter David Lee Murphy, which is sitting at #7 on Billboard and #6 on MediaBase. It marks the first time the East Tennessean has had two songs in the Top 10 at the same time.
“I never take anything for granted when it comes radio,” says the 8-time Entertainer of the Year. “They are the bridge between this music and the people who live inside these songs. For all the awards and #1s, I’ve never had two songs in the Top 10 at the same time, and it’s a pretty special rush. Having grown up listening to the radio, there’s something about a song coming out of the speakers that’s exciting…”
Especially heartening is being able to share the moment with Murphy, who’s been popping up at a few of the Trip Around the Sun stadium shows to sing their duet. As Chesney says, “David Lee really is the last of the hillbilly rock stars… and this song, even on the nights he’s not with us, has plugged the No Shoes Nation into something they need and want to feel. It’s amazing the energy we get when we play it and the way people sing along.”
“Everything” offers a strong sense of finding grace in a tough place. The mid-tempo, with its drop-down shuffle that flows into a reggae undertow on the chorus, is the perfect bookend to Chesney’s own “Get Along,” which suggests finding the common ground between people in a world of heated divisiveness.
Of their duet, Murphy says, “You watch the news, it’s rough. You can get caught up in that, or step back and trust life. Sometimes, a deep breath changes everything.”
Co-produced by Chesney, Murphy and Buddy Cannon, “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright” feels good when you hear it. As does “Get Along,” which continues Chesney’s undertow of empathy, awareness and recognizing the toxicity in so much of the churn around us.
“We were making Songs for the Saints literally between the eyes of the storm, and ‘Get Along’ came along and fit into the album in such an unlikely, but great way,” Chesney marvels. “I didn’t even think about how this song speaks to ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’ when we cut it, but it sure does create a great combo message when you hear them on the radio. In a world where we can get so lost in the rage, it’s nice to remember what really matters, and having the ability to put your faith in — as ‘Trip Around the Sun’ says — that cosmic Hallelujah makes all the difference in the world.”