Country music generally conjures images of Nashville or small town America. But Kenny Chesney, perhaps taking a cue from his friend Jimmy Buffett, seems to be looking to change that perception.
The country star’s next release, “Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair,” is described as a personal album greatly influenced by visits to Caribbean islands during down time. The set is due Jan. 25 via BNA.
“This is my heart and it’s a record that came out of that,” Chesney says. “I didn’t set out to ‘write the island record,’ I wrote songs about people I met, moments that stood out over the last few years, things I realized. When I went back and looked at my notebook, I saw this collection emerge.
“It’s not what people think of when they think of a ‘Kenny Chesney record,'” he readily admits. “This isn’t that… it’s like looking over my shoulder, seeing me when I’m being quiet — and I’m just glad there are people I can share this part of me with.”
In reference to its title, the 13-track album opens with “Old Blue Chair,” the same song that closes this year’s “When the Sun Goes Down,” and also boasts an acoustic version of the track.
From there it includes such tunes as “Island Boy,” “Key Lime Pie,” “Soul of a Sailor,” “Somewhere in the Sun” and “Guitars, Tiki Bars,” which bears a striking resemblance to the name of Chesney’s 2004 U.S. tour.
Released in February, “When the Sun Goes Down” debuted at No. 1 on The Billboard 200 and the Top Country Albums chart. On the latter it remains a top 10 album, sitting at No. 7 in its 40th week on the tally. The set has sold more than 2.68 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
The title track is a duet with Uncle Kracker that reached No. 1 on the Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart. The album also spawned the top 10 singles “I Go Back” (No. 2) and “The Woman With You” (No. 6).
Here is the track list for “Be As You Are: Songs From an Old Blue Chair”:
“Old Blue Chair”
“Be As You Are”
“Guitars, Tiki Bars”
“Somewhere in the Sun”
“She Came From Boston”
“Something Sexy ’bout the Rain”
“French Kissing Life”
“Key Lime Pie”
“Sherrie’s Living in Paradise”
“Old Blue Chair” (acoustic)
“Soul of a Sailor”