Black Music Matters Festival

Kenny Chesney

Lucky Old Sun – 2008 (Blue Chair/BNA)

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

See it on Amazon

Kenny Chesney did not make a country disc here, but once you overlook that, the laid back seemingly good country superstar digs quite deep. Chesney says the 11 songs is "deeper than "Be As You Are," and he is correct. Considered the country version of Jimmy Buffett doesn't always hold water. Chesney gives the appearance of life being laid back while having some fun on a Carribean island, but such is not always the case apparently.

The vibe is acoustic-based most of the time, meaning the emphasis is on the vocals and words. That also is due to slower-paced songs dotting the disc, instead of radio friendly material (the smart, cute number one hit single Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven with a code from The Wailers is about the only exception).

Chesney celebrates the positives of life (without resorting to the good-time atmosphere) on the lead-off I'm Alive with solid vocals from Dave Matthews. The song is one of five that Chesney had a hand in writing.

Ten With a Two doesn't quite work as other songs have covered the same subject matter - getting drunk and winding up with a woman who earlier in the evening had been a 10, but somehow slipped as the evening wore on - more effectively.

For Chesney, the chance to recharge and rethink life is at least part of what he does when he heads south. Fortunately, he shared a chunk of those thoughtful moments.