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CD Review: Kenny Chesney – THE BIG REVIVAL

CD Review: Kenny Chesney – THE
BIG REVIVAL

 

It’s Saturday,
August 20, 2016, and what a way to start the weekend off than with
some Kenny Chesney! I chose Kenny’s latest album with the mindset of
comparing his music to the dearly departed, Elvis Presley, “The
King of Rock and Roll”. This week marks the 39th
anniversary of The King’s passing. In the past many have concluded
that Kenny Chesney isn’t country, isn’t rock and roll, isn’t raggae,
but is many times compared to Jimmy Buffet with his Caribbean island
songs and his love of the beach.. Elvis was a little Rock and Roll, a
little Blues, a little Rockabilly, gospel, and Pop. Like Elvis, Kenny
has invented his own genre and his own style, just as Elvis did many
years ago.
At the end of his 2013 tour, Kenny
announced he would take a year off from touring to “reconnect,
revive, rekindle, and reclaim” himself, as well as “his soul”.
He wanted to give his fans something MORE; something different.
Something to rattle their cages; make them think and feel on a
different level. Not like today’s artists or any of his past albums,
and no repeat conveyor belt music cranked out just for record sales.
He’s always in competition with himself to find a balance between
life, and as a writer, artist, and musician. Kenny felt he wasn’t
pushing the envelope enough, and wanted to recharge those batteries
of his: to rewind and revive, to find himself. Take time to find
something different than party songs, beach songs, and drinking
songs, which have all racked up gold and platinum status for him in
the past, by the way, but different; with more feeling and more
personal songs that get to the heart of the matter. Setting the tone
on this album was to lift his audience up, give them new songs they
can relate to in everyday life, and in most everyday circumstances.
Songs that touch his fans deep inside their souls, and to have the
depth to connect by laughing, crying, giving hope and understanding,
and celebrating life through each lyric and every song. With the
debut of this album, it seems his year off has certainly paid off!
Kenny’s latest album entitled, THE
BIG REVIVAL
, is just that; a huge revival of his soul where he
and his No Shoes Nation fans come together to celebrate life and love
to the fullest. He found a “common thread’ that runs through each
of the songs on this CD, which basically tells us all, that he
understands and has been there in those situations too. ‘The Big
Revival is about picking yourself up, up off the bottom. It’s about
reclaiming your soul, in a way. It’s about revival. It’s about
restarting. It’s about reclaiming what was yours. It’s about living
life with passion.”- Kenny. It’s about having a voice in your head
that tells you not to give up; to keep moving, and that everything is
going to be alright even though your life might suck right now.
On the title track, The Big Revival,
the lyrics transport us to a mountainside tent revival full of lost
souls. A soul revival; a soul searching experience. Even though Kenny
admits he isn’t religious to the extreme of testing fate with a
snake, but more spiritual in nature than the religious tent revival
practice of “Praise the Lord, and pass me a copperhead’. The Big
Revival
brought back fond memories of days long ago when a tent
revival is just what the preacher ordered to revive and give rebirth
to a fading and lost soul. I think Kenny captured all this and more
on this song and latest album.
Drink It Up, the
second track, isn’t what you think it is. Most would think it’s just
another drinking song, like Kenny and all the other country
songwriter’s seem to have a penchant for these days. Instead, it’s a
song about enjoying your life, living in the moment, and celebrating
life to the fullest! Don’t waste your time on the things that don’t
matter, but instead focus on the good things in life; to catch that
moment, to
fill
your cup with all those

good
things, then drink all that goodness up.
Til It’s Gone,
the third track,
is
about letting the fans know that LIFE has a way of moving you on,
whether you want to move on or not. Enjoy the day, enjoy life, enjoy
what makes you HAPPY. Not to take anything or anyone for granted, but
not waste even one

precious
drop of the
good
stuff that keeps us all happy and content in life also. When Kenny
was asked what he hoped to say to his fans with this song, he said,
“We only have one life, one chance, one ticket to the big dance,
it’s you and me holding on, right down to the last song.”-Kenny.

It’s
a high energy victory song that resonates goodness in every day life,
right down to the last song of every concert he performs.

Kenny
encourages us to grab all life’s goodness and savor every moment,

Til It’s Gone.
American Kids, the
fourth
track,
transports us to back in the day; to bell bottom jeans, hippies, the
groovy 70’s, and living

life
in a small town. This song is a little slice of the American Pie
that’s revisited and gives us

that
warm, fuzzy, feel good, and in the moment feeling, that transports us
to happy days long gone.
American
Kids
is
a fun, upbeat, picture postcard song that anyone who grew up in the
60’s and 70’s can relate to. This song gives credence to us all being
“A little messed up, but we’re all alright”. Ain’t that the
truth?
Wild
Child,
just
WOW! I think this is my single most, and all time favorite song of
Kenny’s, and Grace Potter seals the deal, once again with her amazing
vocals.
With
all the new country “Bromances” going on these days, and songs
about women in Daisy Duke shorts and bikini tops

sitting
on a tailgate while drinking beer has made many quite a bit of cash,
Wild Child,
does not shed a pale light on women, nor does it objectify women like
most country songs do these days. Instead,
Wild
Child,
elicits
the dreams, hopes, and desires of a free spirit, with a gypsy soul
that loves to love everything in her path, that roams about and
dreams
for
happiness in the simplest of things on a daily basis. It is a very
empowering and uplifting song for women, “seen not through the eyes
in her head, but seen and lead from the eyes of her

heart:
to feel useful, needed, worthy, to have a chance, and not be looked
down upon as a tramp, or God forbid, worse…. a country song cliché.
She may be a little crazy, a little wild, a tad innocent, but not to
be confused with being

irresponsible
or eliciting tawdry actions. She can be an Executive, a nurse, a
teacher, a doctor, a student, a Mom, a sister, a wife; she’s all of
these things and more because she has the freedom to just BE and BE
HAPPY! At the end of the video, Grace Potter and Kenny’s message is
simply stated: “You were born to dance to the beat of your own
heart. To roam without cages, with the innocence of a child, and the
free spirit of untamed horses. I hope you laugh without stopping.
Live with abandon, and love like it’s all there is. Stay wild, my
wild, wild child.”
Beer
Can Chicken, Rock Bottom, Don’t It. Save It For A Rainy Day,
FloraBama,
and
If This Bus
Could Talk
all
have the same “common thread” of living life to the fullest, and
sets the tone of grabbing life by the horns, having fun, being happy,
and living in the moment: whether hitting
Rock
Bottom
or
going through a breakup, LIFE is going to come at you full throttle
whether you want it to or not, so why not
Save
It For A Rainy Day,

instead
of wallowing in self pity?

It’s
about making mistakes and wondering if you “should’ve taken a right
turn instead of a left turn”-Kenny. These songs encourage us all to
keep moving on in the face of adversity, troubles, and woes. “Life
has a way of making you strong. Life has a way of moving you
on…..
Don’t
It?”-
Kenny.
FloraBama is
the only Kenny Chesney concert I’ve attended, and let me tell you, it
was quite the experience, and an awesome,

fun
filled day with my NO SHOES NATION family on a Florida beach!

Kenny
is explosive, dynamic, and can put on one heck of a concert for his
fans up on stage!
If
This Bus Could Talk
is
always,
and in the spirit of Kenny Chesney, is to

Spread the Love and
work
hard, but play even harder! Five out of five stars for this awesome,
feel good album!
Cc: Penney Holley for Country Music News International, Saturday, August 20, 2016

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