NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Any time Kenny Chesney takes a year off, he feels disconnected from the life that is No Shoes Nation. Proclaimed “The King of the Road” by the Wall Street Journal, there is something that happens when he takes one of country music’s most exceptional set of songs and shares them with the people who live their lives inside his many hits.
Given that it’s been three years since he’s played a full-on concert, when the four-time Country Music Association and four-time consecutive Academy of Country Music Entertainer of the Year hits the stage, he’s coming with everything he’s got. For those who are used to his high-velocity presence and shows that make people smile for days, Chesney decided to up the ante – and has added Keith Urban multi-instrumentalist Danny Rader on guitar and Col. Bruce Hampton & The Aquarium Rescue Unit drummer Nick Buda.
“When we were looking at where to go, what to do next, it was interesting to see the chemistry with different people,” Chesney explains. “So many great musicians came out, which took all of us to a new place in how we see these songs, what they’re capable of. But in the end, because this is a band, not just a group of musicians who back someone up, what Danny and Nick brought was a freshness that hits hard and lifts everything up in some pretty great ways.
“Wyatt, Harmoni, Kenny Greenberg, and Jon are all still here – and bringing that magic like they always do. But adding the new players, they’re going to some pretty great places. We’ve not gone into the big room yet, but I can tell you from the run-throughs, it’s awesome.”
Buda, who left the jam band world to concentrate on session work, went to Boston’s acclaimed Berklee School of Music on the recommendation of Sting’s longtime drummer Vinnie Colaiuta. Rader, a three-time Academy of Country Music Award winner, most recently for 2017 Specialty Instrument(s) Player of the Year, plays bouzouki, mandolin, banjo and accordion as well as the electric guitar that’s tangled with Keith Urban live since 2010.
“When you’re playing as many different kinds of music as we’re actually playing every night – it’s rock, it’s reggae, it’s calypso and singer/songwriter stuff – having players who switch gears without people feeling it; using that chemistry really makes things electric onstage. We’re still in the early phases of this, but I think once we get out on those big stages, it’s going to be awesome with where these songs are going already.”
Here And Now 2022 kicks off April 23 at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium. Presented by Blue Chair Bay Rum and fueled by MARATHON, the much anticipated tour reunites one of the most voracious fan bases with the East Tennessee songwriter/superstar whose songs have defined summer in the 21st Century. With an emphasis on electric guitars, a meaningful backbeat and enough joie du vivre to guarantee a good time no matter where you are in your life, Chesney’s tours have attracted over a million fans every year he’s engaged in an actual tour since 2002 – and this year, he’s on track to maintain that status.