Kenny Chesney, the eight-time Country Music Association and Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year, wrapped rehearsals for his Songs for the Saints 2019 Tour – and watched as the breakdown and loadout began. Having once again played to well over a million people in 2018 – topping the million mark in Boston alone after his 18th show at Foxborough’s storied Gillette Stadium – the East Tennessee songwriter/superstar made the decision to take the music to the fans living in markets where stadium shows are not always an option.
“Growing up outside of Knoxville, I remember the tours that didn’t come near us,” Chesney says. “You’d hear about them, read about them – and even dream about them. But if it wasn’t playing the Knoxville Civic, well, it wasn’t something we could get to.”
“One of the things I wanted to make sure,” allows the man who’s the only country act in Billboard’s Top 10 Touring Acts of the Last 25 Years, “is that even if we’re in a more contained space, the No Shoes Nation is going to get the same impact, the same energy, the same feeling that the people coming to the stadiums experience. It’s obviously a different show; we couldn’t begin to get all that production into an arena, but I promise it’s going to be a whole lot of fun and music.”
Joining Chesney for the Songs for the Saints 2019 Tour are David Lee Murphy, his duet partner on the No. 1 hit and CMA Vocal Event of the Year “Everything’s Gonna Be Alright,” and Caroline Jones. With a spirit of friendship, discovery and celebration, in many ways this more intimate tour continues the intention of his charitable Songs for the Saints album, which featured Ziggy Marley, Mindy Smith and Jimmy Buffett.
“Music is medicine,” Chesney says. “It heals people and defines who we are. But it’s so much more: it brings us together and reminds us how precious life is. When I was making Songs for the Saints, how I saw music and what it does changed. No Shoes Nation has always been one of the most passionate ‘places’ in the world, but I realized these songs, which mark people’s lives, also lift us up in ways that give us strength, community and a whole lot of joy. It’s a party, but it’s also a whole lot more.
“I can’t wait to get out there and get to some of these places we’ve not been in a while. Get ready! We’re coming.”