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9.23.2014

The Big Revival


Kenny Chesney and Uncle Kracker singing Kid Rock's "Cowboy" at Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, Mass.
August (I think) 2005.  I was second row.  This was just before I moved to Tennessee to attend ETSU.*
In case it didn't come across in my prior post, I am a Kenny Chesney fan.  Just not a drunk crowd in the hot summer sun in Florida fan.  I've enjoyed his music for years, but have missed a COUNTRY album from him.  The island music is great, but definitely doesn't get my excited-ish for work like The Big Revival did this morning.

I pre-ordered the album on iTunes, so I got to listen to about three tracks prior to the release.  "American Kids" is definitely a great first single.  The melody and the lyrics just get stuck in your head. "Flora-Bama" was an instant favorite that I got right before the show at Perdido Key.  It had a lot of the island-ish feel to it, but it also told a story of an establishment that has survived 50 years in the panhandle.  The title track, "The Big Revival," was okay- it has a faster pace and kind of gets you excited about the rest of the albumb.  Which is good, because it's the first track on there.

A number of other songs made me stop what I was doing and listen closer (I <3 quotes):
  • Track 5:WILD CHILD (with Grace Potter)- "She'll be here til she runs, but some just have to chase the sun"
  • Track 8: DON'T IT- "Life has its way of keeping you strong don't it./ So there I was a long way from nowhere, fried mind, spare time, and a blank stare/ I was just numb enough not to feel a thing/ after all we didn't share a set of rings/ besides how bad could it be, she'd never find out, I'd never come clean./ Life has its way of leadin' you on don't it." ..."Well now have you ever been down the old back road, old time bar room./ It's a trip, it's a bitch, it's an on- and off- light switch/ no body follows, everybody's got their own past, gallon of tears to stash/ don't look back/ if you do, laugh/ life has it's way of movin' you on don't it."
  • Track 9: SAVE IT FOR A RAINY DAY-"The sun's too bright, the sky's to blue/ beer's too cold to be thinkin' 'bout you/ gonna take this heartbreak and tuck it away/ save it for a rainy day./ Yeah the music's too good, my friends are all out/ They're all to high to be bringin' 'em down./ If they ask about you, I got nothin' to say/ I'll save it for a rainy day.
Finally, the last song on the album, "If This Bus Could Talk,"  was by far the best.  As soon as the first few chords hit I stopped to listen.  It also prompted me to find the story behind "Moby,"  Chesney's old tour bus.  Click here for USA Today's article about it.  It shines some light on a few key lines of the song.

The album in total is 40 minutes, with 11 songs. Personally, I would have liked a couple more songs in there.  Between 3 songs being released prior to the album launch, and being able to stream six songs on CMT ahead of time, it seems rather short.  However, the track layout starting with the fast, fun title track and ending with the sentimental song about the old bus that's seen it all was genius.

*I actually worked in ETSU's Bluegrass, Old time, and Country Music Program for two or so years.  This is where he first learned to play guitar from the program's founder, Jack Tottle.  Tottle's beginning guitar class (used to- not sure if they still do) use a book that had Chesney on the cover.  With hair.  Jack also had a plaque for one of Kenny's first albums hung in his office.  Also "Keg in the Closet"  was written about his time at ETSU in Lambda Chi fraternity. 

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