Kenny Chesney Gives Update On Forthcoming New Album: “The Next Record Is Important”

Chesney said his new record is “nearly halfway finished.”


Christine Sellers


Posted on April 5, 2023

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Kenny Chesney; Photo Courtesy of CRB/CRS/Kayla Schoen

Kenny Chesney recently shared an update on his latest album.

During a wide-ranging interview panel moderated by Country Countdown USA’s Lon Helton at this year’s Country Radio Seminar on Mar. 14, the “Tip of My Tongue” singer revealed his upcoming project is “nearly halfway finished.”

“The Next Record Is Important

In addition, Chesney said his new album is “important.”

“The next record is important — they are all important. No matter who you are or where you’re at in your career arc, every album is important,” Chesney said. “You want somebody to do something, you want somebody to be happy, you want somebody to chase their own dreams because of your music.”

Chesney also told Helton how his love of sports helped fuel his competitive mentality when it comes to his career.

“The one thing that I think that’s helped me … sustain any kind of success is the idea that you either get better or you get worse,” Chesney explained, citing advice big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton had given him. “[Laird] said, ‘You get 1% better or worse every day…’ I’ve tried to get 1% better as a writer, a person, a producer. That’s the mentality I’ve had over the years,” he added.

Lon Helton, Kenny Chesney; Photo Courtesy of CRB/CRS/Kayla Schoen
Lon Helton, Kenny Chesney; Photo Courtesy of CRB/CRS/Kayla Schoen

“I Wasn’t Comfortable In My Skin

In reflecting on his career, and in particular, his early days of being a country artist, Chesney admitted he wasn’t as comfortable in his skin then. Chesney also admitted he hadn’t yet set himself apart and found himself “trying to be the newer version of George Strait.”

“[I] wasn’t comfortable in my skin as an artist then,” Chesney said, recounting stories about how Sony Music executive Joe Galante had signed him to the record label’s BNA imprint to produce his sophomore album as well as how the pair disagreed over releasing his 2007 single, “Don’t Blink.”

“I was a lot like a lot of artists, honestly [and] I was trying to be the newer version of George Strait,” Chesney added. “I think Garth [Brooks] would tell you the same thing, he loved George. That was the bar. I wore a belt buckle. I was trying to be that.”

The Turning Point

Chesney said his turning point came when he stopped trying to emulate Strait and developed his own identity.

“The moment I stopped trying to be George Strait, that was the moment my life changed,” the 55-year-old singer explained. “I started really writing songs. And my life in the [U.S.] Virgin Islands, I spent a lot of time writing out there.”

“This isn’t a slam toward anybody, but I realized there were acts out there that felt the same way I did. We were all trying to reach for Strait.”

“I didn’t have as good of a song as Tracy Lawrence had, with ‘Time Marches On.’ I just felt I wasn’t truly being authentic as an artist during that time. There was a phase, after Garth hit, where everybody wore the same shirt,” he said.

“I found myself writing songs about the characters and the people I met, their stories. As much of a marketing ploy as it looks like, it really wasn’t. It was just a huge part of my life.”

Kenny Chesney; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Kenny Chesney; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Kenny Chesney Recently Kicked Off The I Go Back Tour

Years later, all of Chesney’s hard work has paid off.

Not only is the successful country artist halfway finished with his latest album, he also just kicked off his much-anticipated I Go Back Tour on Mar. 27 at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The tour, which includes a nearly 30-song set list and support from fellow country artist Kelsea Ballerini, takes fans on a journey of Chesney’s iconic career.

Chesney’s I Go Back Tour runs through May 27.

Fans who want to buy tickets to the tour can click HERE.

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