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Chesney plays Austin City Limits

Wednesday, May 13, 2009 – Kenny Chesney played Austin City Limits Tuesday night with a little help from his horns section and a Wailer.

"I don't really remember the first time I saw Willie Nelson, he always just was," said Chesney, "but there's a part of me that's pretty certain it was on 'Austin City Limits' because I saw an awful lot of my heroes on t hat show. You look around - and you realize everyone, from Jerry Lee Lewis to George Jones to Ray Charles right up to now has played here, and you really want to be part of that history."

Chesney brought along his four-piece horn section, percussionist Drummie Zeb from the Wailers - for Beer In Mexico, Young, Summertime and his current hit Out Last Night during the 80 minutes. Chesney also performed Anything But Mine and Better As A Memory, which led into Old Blue Chair and the first public performances of Boats and Somewhere In The Sun.

"Those aren't songs I normally get to do," Chesney admitted. "I like to keep the energy level pretty high, but they're very much a part of who I am...and it's funny. Somewhere In The Sun is one of only two songs I've ever written on the road, and I wrote it not a mile from where we were taping. So in a way, we closed the circle singing it here... because it all started when we were snowed out of our show down here one year."

Chesney, who told stories about his experiences in Austin, was joined by singer/songwriter Mac McAnally - who sang their recent number one duet Down The Road then stayed for his Back Where I Come From, long a mainstay of Chesney's live shows - as a surprise guest.

"Any time you can put the focus on the songs, it's a good thing," Chesney said. "And to be able to do that with Mac... well, it just takes these songs to a whole other level. I was honored that he'd do this with us, and I hope we'll get to see him out on the road when he can get away from his own stuff."

Though no broadcast date has been set, Chesney's special one hour "Austin City Limits" will air early in the fall.

"We're having a big summer, and we're just getting started. And 'Austin City Limits" will take us into the fall in a way that I'm really proud of."

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