Major Spread in May 17 Issue on Music, Work Ethic & Discipline
Malibu: In 2007, Kenny Chesney was a regular at the Paradise Cove Beach Café along the Pacific Ocean. So when Entertainment Weekly suggested meeting the songwriter from Luttrell, Tennessee for three rounds, he knew right where to go! Captured on a rare afternoon off, Chesney talked of the discipline and focus it takes to maintain ten years at the top, his eternal youth, playing poker with Willie Nelson and the impact one of the family from Sandy Hook had on the eight time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year.
"The fact they literally wrote 'No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems' in black sharpie on her casket. You never know whose life you're touching with music," Chesney told writer Lynette Rice. "You get so caught up in recording...you're always on to something else, right? You forget songs matter and they live with people. They are a real close part of their lives."
Beyond avoiding the fried calamari and diving into the raw seafood platter the restaurant sent over, Chesney weighed in on touring dynamics, shutting down his mind and the reality of tv talent competitions.
"It was one of those interviews that felt more like talking with a stranger you'd sit down next to at a bar on a slow afternoon," Chesney says of the piece. "Nowhere to go, nowhere to be and a whole lot of life to philosophize about... Only this stranger knows a whole lot about me, and what I do!"
Embracing the notion of simplicity as the defining element of the songs on his #1 Billboard all-genre Top 200 Albums debut Life On A Rock, Chesney explained, "As busy as I am, a lot of times I crave simplicity... The first song I wrote was 'Lindy.' It was about an old island character who just walked through the world a little bit different than a lot of us. I just wrote a really simple song about seeing him one night playing piano in an island church. There he was, this beach bum..."
Beyond the four page spread, Chesney also has a full contents page /second cover picture, taken on the beach along along the Pacific. After three Corona Lights, Chesney wrapped things up dismissing the notion of ever slowing down, telling EW, "I haven't thought about it. It's hard to say, because I think once you got a song in your heart, you're gonna find a way to get it out. I love what I do too much."
With upcoming features in The Wall Street Journal, People, and Boston Common, Chesney's Life is earning strong reviews. Billboard wrote, "...surely the most personal work he's ever done, time will likely prove it to be among his best-loved by fans," while The Chicago Tribune offered, "the country superstar turns down the volume to offer a quieter and more contemplative meditation on sand and sea" and The Washington Post said, "It's a bold move, considering that a new crop of country rockers are selling millions of albums modeled on Chesney's pounding arena rock sound. But, Chesney follows his muse and offers up an album that exposes his weathered soul. The result is as appealing as it is surprising.