Kenny Chesney’s new album, Life On A Rock, is easily his most personal project to date. The songs, some of which date back to 2006 (the most recent written last year), were never intended to make it onto an album but still became a full body of work. During a recent Q&A session with Billboard, Kenny discussed the inspiration behind the album.
“This record is about how life just moves you along, whether you realize it or not,” Kenny said. “I wrote a lot of these songs without music. Just wrote the lyrics down and tried to take moments from my life and my friends’ lives and tried to give them a pulse.”
One song on the album, “Happy On The Hey Now (A Song For Kristi)” is deeply personal for Kenny. He penned the track as a tribute to a friend from the islands who died too soon. The Hey Now was a boat the group of friends hung out on with his friend Kristi, whom he described as being ‘good at life,’ as the center of it all.
“It was a hard song for me to sing in the studio,” Kenny said. “She defined that circle of friends in the Islands. She defined a time in my life when it was a lot simpler for me, and she was the epitome of living life in the moment. I’m telling you, she took life like it was a big lemon and squeezed it really hard.”
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“We all have somebody in our life that dies young, and it’s hard to figure out why,” he continued. “And no matter how busy you are and what you’re doing in life, it can stop you in your life and change you. You have to let go of someone you really care about, and it makes you re-evaluate everything: the connection with the person you’re in a relationship with, what you’re giving to it, your relationships with your family, your friends. That’s what Kristi’s passing did to me. It changed me as a person, as an artist and songwriter, the way I walk through the world.”
“Pirate Flag,” the lead single from Life On A Rock, is in the Top 5 at country radio.