NASHVILLE, TN – When Kenny Chesney decided to reboot with a break from touring in 2010, it set in motion a creative arc that produced two sports-themed documentaries, the critically acclaimed 'Hemingway’s Whiskey,' and now, 'Welcome To The Fishbowl,' Chesney’s most mature album yet. The album will be released June 19.
As a songwriter and an interpreter, Chesney runs deep on 'Fishbowl,' exploring vulnerable ballads like “Sing ‘Em Good My Friend,” “Always Gonna Be You,” and “El Cerrito Place.” “There are songs on here I might not have had courage enough to put on a record in the past, but now I feel like it’s essential that I do these kinds of things at this point in my career," Chesney says. "I want to be honest with my fans and myself as a songwriter and a creative person. I feel like now, more than ever, I’m comfortable with being authentic, wherever that leads me. That’s why I’m proud of this record, because every song on it has been an evolution.”
In fact, the album's first single, “Feel Like a Rock Star” (with friend and tourmate Tim McGraw), stands out as the exception amidst a collection of songs that explore the depths of human emotion. “I think some of these songs will make you think,” Kenny says of the new material. “They will make you examine your life. I think they will make you miss someone, or give you strength to love someone like you've never loved them before. I think there are some songs on here that actually give you strength to let go. There's a lot of emotional layers on this record that I don’t believe have ever been collectively explored on any record of mine.”
A prime example is “El Cerrito Place,” Keith Gattis’ acclaimed song about searing for a long-lost lover. “I’ve loved that song for a while and it felt right for me to record it now,” says Chesney. “There is a certain longing in this song that I relate to in a lot of ways.” Chesney brought in “You and Tequila” duet partner Grace Potter to provide background vocals. “Grace brings that raw emotion out, and you feel the pain that much more.”
Bookended by the steamy current single “Come Over”and the ache of “Always Gonna Be You,” 'Welcome to the Fishbowl' is, at heart, a powerful glance into Chesney’s emotional life. “Every song on 'Welcome to the Fishbowl' is me,” he admits. “But they're also incredibly universal. It feels really good to be in a place in my career and in my life where I've got an open heart and where I've learned a lot as a human being. I want to take my music and my audience and dig a little deeper, and see if they'll come along with me,” Chesney said.
But never fear, No Shoes Nation - Kenny still recognizes the power of a good party. “I'm not trying to be anybody's therapist here,” he laughs.
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