Pirate Flag USA TODAY

Chesney’s “Pirate Flag” Flies at USA TODAY

Rebel Anthem’s Their Song of the Week FIVE Days Before Release>/strong>

Nashville: When Kenny Chesney heard “Pirate Flag,” he knew it was an
anthem for his No Shoes Nation. With its driving beat, the David Lee
Murphy/Ross Copperman song of eschewing it all struck a chord with the 4
consecutive Academy of Country Music and 4 time Country Music
Association Entertainer of the Year who’s made a career out of coloring
outside the obvious – and his instincts have been validated by USA Today
five days before “Pirate Flag” even hits the airwaves.

Crowning this week’s Grammy walk-up Playlist from critic Elysa
Gardner is the designation of “Pirate Flag” as USA Today’s Song of the
Week. Critic at large Brian Mansfield writes, “Country’s island boy
hoists his Jolly Roger on his new single, which hits radio Friday,
hopping an ocean-bound bus out of a Smoky Mountain small town and
transforming himself into a rum-soaked renegade. With its mandolin,
tin-whistle sound and classic-rock guitar riffs, this pseudo-shanty is
the first volley from Chesney’s next album, out April 30.”

“Every now and then, you come upon a song that says everything you
feel,” Chesney admits with a laugh. “For me, when I heard it, I just
went, ‘Yeah…’ Because it captures the way freedom feels, that pumping in
your blood when you know you’ve got two days and nobody to answer to.

“I’m glad to know USA Today hears what I felt… It’s easy to just
shrug stuff off, act like ‘Been there, done that.’ But sometimes you’ve
got something, and it won’t let go. I guess they sense that hold (this
song has), too.”

With its big beats, slithering electric guitar solo and insistent
down-stroke on the mandolin, this is industrial country with enough
bluegrass tempering the Tom Petty-esque arrangement to add heft to the
swaggering song of escape and freedom from the daily grind.

“There are so many expectations, so much responsibility. Sometimes
you just wanna say, ‘Forget it…’ and run hard at whatever makes you
happy. That’s what this song is all about. Even the beat is this driving
thing that moves you to where you wanna be. I think everybody’s been
there. Even if you’re trapped in a 9-to-5 that drags on ‘til 8 or 9,
‘Pirate Flag’ can be as much a state of mind as being out on the high
seas.”

Hard at work putting the finishing touches on his largely self-penned
April 30th Blue Chair/Columbia release, the songwriter/entertainer is
gearing up for another summer of stadiums, sheds and arenas. Look for
the “Pirate Flag” to fly March 16 at Raymond James Stadium, home of the
Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the No Shoes Nation Tour kicks off for what
promises to be a long chill summer…

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