Kenny Chesney released Be As You Are
Somewhere in the Caribbean: When Kenny Chesney went to the islands, he was looking to get away; what he found was a lot like coming home.
Artist: Kenny Chesney
Title: Be As You Are
Release date: 01/25/05
Label: Bna Records
Buy at: Amazon
He may not have realized what an imprint the various islands in that turquoise water were making on his soul -- but over the years, the tides have pulled him back, set him at ease and have cast a pretty strong undertow to his personal brand of power-country, whether it's the kickin' back ease of "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems," the yearning "The Coast of Somewhere Beautiful" or the calyptic Uncle Kracker duet "When The Sun Goes Down."
For the man who's sold almost 17 million records -- including 3 million copies of When The Sun Goes Down, 4 million No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems and 3 million Greatest Hits -- the islands was a place to go and get away from being an emerging bold-faced name. As he exhales on the title track, "You can be a tourist, a beach bum or a star…" -- and it's that ability to just live life on its own terms that appealed to the soon-to-be-superstar.
To that end, there's Be As You Are: Songs From An Old Blue Chair, which will arrive in-stores on January 25. An intimate singer/songwriter record, it's a 12-song rumination on the people, places, feelings and sensations that've made up the last 6 years of the man who's sold close to 1.2 million concert tickets this year alone's life.
"I don't know what I was looking for when I went down there -- or what I was hoping to find," says Chesney about the pull of the islands. "But I don't think I could have ever expected the feeling of peace, of easiness, of belonging that I did find. It was an amazing place at a very difficult time -- and I think I built a life down there, just being.
"And I've certainly shared pieces of that with the fans over the last couple records, but I don't think people really understand how the islands have affected me. This record is kind of about that… what it means, who these people are. It's not just a party place, or drinks with umbrellas and coconut milk… That's part of it, absolutely, but it's just a different rhythm a different way of looking at the world - and it has a lot to do with me being able to do what I do out there on the road."
Opening with "Old Blue Chair," which closes his Country Music Association Album of the Year and American Music Awards Top Country Album When The Sun Goes Down, this much quieter, more hushed Kenny Chesney project moves through story songs -- "Island Boy," "She Came From Boston," "Sherrie's Living In Paradise" -- to frolicsome moments - "Guitars, Tiki Bars," "Key Lime Pie" and the old school cocktail-esque "Magic"-- to the in-the-moment real life tales -- "Be As You Are," "Something Sexy About The Rain."
With "Somewhere In The Sun," written quite literally in the shadow of a snow cancelled show on his Margaritas'& Senoritas Tour, that opens with the truthful "Stuck herein a Holiday Inn in Austin, Texas…," Chesney juxtaposes the empty hours of the road with the soul-filling quietness of the water. Then in another polaroid snatched from his daily being "French Kissing Life" -- "I don't really know what day it is/ I've been rockin' 9 days in a row… I know I could use a shave and I need some rest/ And people are worried about me" -- captures his re-entry to life after the cheering crowds and the exhilaration of just the feel of breathing.
"It's so easy to make the islands all about fun or some kind of escape, but it runs much deeper for me," admits the Luttrell, Tennessean. "This is my heart… and it's a record that came out of that. 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. Given how much this place and this time in my life has meant to me, I wanted to share it with the fans… and it's not what people think of when they think of a 'Kenny Chesney Record.' 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."
Be As You Are Tracklisting
1. Old Blue Chair
2. Be as You Are
3. Guitars and Tiki Bars
4. Island Boy
5. Somewhere in the Sun
7. Something Sexy About the Rain
8. French Kissing Life
9. Key Lime Pie
10. Sherry's Living in Paradise
12. Soul of a Sailor
13. Old Blue Chair [Ocean Mix][*]
"Be As You Are" by Kenny Chesney - release date: 01/25/05..