Having just received the Country Radio Broadcasters’ Humanitarian of the Year Award at the 2020 Country Radio Seminar, Kenny Chesney’s commitment to music that inspires others drives “Here and Now,” which arrives at radio and all streaming platforms today. With a bridge that posits, “Lotta people dreaming ‘bout one day, some day/ Waiting just around the bend/ I used to be one Wondering when they’d come/ but now I’m living in…” before tumbling into the song’s chorus, the songwriter/superstar from East Tennessee reminds us to live our lives in the moment, because it’s the only thing guaranteed.
“There is so much in the world we can’t change,” marvels the man Variety proclaimed, “Country’s only long-term stadium act,” of what drove this song, “and you can get so caught up in that, you miss your life. I can’t save the world, but I can make music that makes people happy, play shows that let them forget their problems for an evening – and occasionally cut a song that maybe reminds all of us what we ought to be embracing.”
“Get Along,” the lead single from his deeply personal Songs for the Saints, was a plea to come together, to focus on common truths and forget about things that divide people. In addition to becoming a multiple week No. 1, the track from the album whose proceeds went to the Love for Love City Foundation anchored a PassItOn.org PSA that has amassed almost three billion views.
Continuing in that feel good, uplift people vein, “Here and Now” is two minutes and 51 seconds of euphoric attitude adjustment. Opening with a swooping electric guitar and drums that rush in fast and hard, the David Lee Murphy/Craig Wiseman/David Garcia-written rave-up weighs the varying realities of Chesney’s life and offers a clear assessment that the sweetest moment is the present.
“This song kind of blew my mind,” the only country artist on Pollstar’s Top 10 Touring Artists of the Last 25 Years explained last week. “The chorus is everything I feel about that time onstage with No Shoes Nation…that rush of it absolutely being the best place, best moment in the entire world. There’s no rush like it.”
Created during a writing retreat Chesney staged in Malibu, designed to be equal parts songwriting escape and catching up with old friends, it captured the spark of the trip. Beyond telling stories, drinking some cold beers, soaking up the sun and remembering the way songwriters used to hang out, there were meaningful conversations about priorities, focus and how easy it is to let your life pass you by.
“Like the chorus says, ‘You and me, ain’t it good to be alive/ Ain’t no better place, ain’t no better time/ Than here and now…’,” says the clearly delighted 8-time Entertainer of the Year. “I know there will days and moments that suck, but so many of them, we can decide how we feel and what we want to focus on. I’m hoping No Shoes Nation – and everyone else – can hear this and feel really good about the moment.”
Kenny Chesney will be playing Nissan Stadium on Saturday June 27. Tickets are still available here.