Kenny Chesney’s collaboration with Dave Matthews, “I’m Alive,” hit No. 12 last week on the Country Aircheck singles chart. It’s an achievement that’s four years in the making, going back to the first time they met at Farm Aid in 2005.
“I had already written ‘I’m Alive,’ and Dave told me he loved that ‘I’m Alive’ song and that he felt like that would be something that would fit on one of his records to stand alone,” Kenny recalls. “I said ‘Well, why don’t we try doin’ it?’ And then … it was just magic in the studio when we did it. I didn’t realize how natural my voice and his voice would sound together, you know, ’cause it’s completely two different styles. We come from completely two different worlds. I mean he was born in South Africa. I was born in East Tennessee. So it just goes to show you how universal music can really be.”
Assuming Dave is enjoying his newfound success on the country chart, he might want to repeat the Farm Aid genesis of “I’m Alive” by spending some time with some of the country acts in Sunday’s annual benefit. Gretchen Wilson, Billy Joe Shaver and Ryan Bingham & the Dead Horses have been added to the bill, which already included Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young, Wilco, Jason Mraz and Jamey Johnson. It’s being held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater outside of St. Louis.