Kenny Chesney, the man in the (rumpled) cowboy hat

Posted May 31st, 2013 by genestout

Kenny Chesney (photo: Sony Music Nashville)

Kenny Chesney (photo: Sony Music Nashville)

By GENE STOUT

Country star Kenny Chesney is pretty sentimental about the bruised and battered hat he’ll be wearing in concert Saturday, June 1, at CenturyLink Field.

“The straw hats I wear on stage, I’ve actually got three of them,” Chesney told me in a recent phone interview from his home state of Tennessee. “They’re all made out of palm leaves.

“I won’t get rid of them. It’s kind of like my old copy of (Ernest) Hemingway’s ‘The Old Man and the Sea’ that I keep on my boat. I’ve dropped it in the ocean, I’ve spilled rum on it, it’s been rained on, it’s weathered by the sun. But I will not get rid of (that book). And those hats are exactly the same. They’ve been everywhere.”

Chesney would be the first to admit that straw hats (even if they’re made of palm leaves) are fun to wear, even if you aren’t a country singer.

“Isn’t it crazy how something like that can change your whole demeanor?” he said with a laugh.

Chesney’s concert at CenturyLink will be his fourth show since 2006 at the Seahawks’ stadium. It’s part of his current No Shoes Nation tour.

The show will feature the hit single “Pirate Flag” from his new album, “Life on a Rock.” But he may also perform another new song, the more reflective “When I See This Bar.”

“It’s going to be better when the song is more familiar to people,” he said. “I don’t throw too many new songs into the show early in the tour. This record has only been out (a few) weeks now, so I don’t want to add too many reflective songs that people are not familiar with. But later in the summer, we’ll probably do another couple of songs off this record.”

Read my entire interview with Chesney in the Seattle Times.


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