Life on a Rock is Chesney’s 16th studio album. “I am very excited about Life on a Rock,” he says. There are “some very personal songs” and “definitely a lot of living on this record.”
“Living on an island is a lot like living in a small town,” Chesney explains. “Everybody knows everybody” and there’s a “certain sense of community that you feel. So many great characters, so many great souls, so many great hearts. And they inspired me to write so many songs.”
Looking back on the project as a whole, Chesney says that Life on a Rock is “a record I never thought I’d make.” Or, more to the point, he says, “I never intended to make it.” It just sort of happened organically.
“A lot of living went into the making of this record, and I hope that there’s a lot of living that goes into listening to it.”
Chesney says that the song “Lindy” was the first of the album’s ten tracks that he wrote, noting he penned it way back in 2006. And the most recent of the songs that made it onto the album were “Marley” and “Spread the Love.” During the six years in-between, he says, “there was a lot of living. That’s where the root of some of these songs came from. And I’m proud of that.”
Chesney describes Life on a Rock as the most revealing project of his career so far. Most of the songs, he says, were already written, “but I didn’t have an emotional center or something that held them together. Then, well, things happen…and you start to look at life differently, and you realize how precious what you have, what you had is. Suddenly, I found myself really digging into what my life has been. I really looked at myself and my friends’ lives, to think about all that had happened, that we’d learned and loved and lost.”
By way of example, Chesney talks specifically about another of the album’s songs, “When I See This Bar,” which he wrote with Keith Gattis (the songwriter responsible for last year’s hit “El Cerrito Place,” among others). “When I started writing ‘When I See This Bar’ thinking about all that had happened there, it hit me: we were all living in the moment, living our day-to-day life just the way it was. And it was perfect! Then you move away, and you get on with your life, and you look back…and it hits you.”
“And it doesn’t matter where you’re living, what you’re doing, everyone has that place, that time, those friends in their life…whether it’s high school or getting out of college or that first job, the starting of your family…and it leaves a mark on your soul you don’t even realize until you look back.”
Chesney is a four-time ACM Entertainer of the Year winner who to date has sold more than 30 million albums and earned 24 Number One singles. And speaking singles, the first from Life on a Rock–“Pirate Flag”–has been steadily climbing the charts since it was first released earlier this year.
Life on a Rock track listing:
1) “Pirate Flag”
2) “When I See This Bar”
3) “Spread The Love” (featuring The Wailers with Elan)
5) “Coconut Tree” (with Willie Nelson)
6) “It’s That Time Of Day”
7) “Life On A Rock”
9) “Must Be Something I Missed”
10) “Happy On The Hey Now” (A Song For Kristi)
Kenny Chesney is currently criss-crossing North America his No Shoes Nation Tour along with Eric Church, the Eli Young Band, Kacey Musgraves, and, on select dates, the Zac Brown Band.
Life on a Rock is available for preorder on iTunes.