(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)
Kenny Chesney’s latest single, “Somewhere With You,” is at the top of the charts right now. And that place must feel very much at home for him because he’s had so many other songs make it to that spot. But since his very first No. 1 single, “She’s Got It All,” in 1997, he’s covered so much territory, it’s impossible to pigeonhole him and his music. You can’t just say he’s the drinkin’-anthem guy. Or the tortured-soul ballad guy. Or the small-town-roots guy. He’s had stretches where he seemed to be going in one direction, like in the early 2000s when the sentimental “Don’t Happen Twice,” “The Good Stuff” and “There Goes My Life” all hit No.1. But he followed that with a slew of party tunes like “When The Sun Goes Down,” “Living in Fast Forward” and “Beer in Mexico.” And then there was the introspective “Better as a Memory” and a sweet fairytale, “Down the Road.” There was another fun drinking song, “Out Last Night.” Then from out of nowhere, a song about high school football. And now this. “Somewhere With You” is nothing like his other chart-toppers. I remember when it was released, he said, “I felt melodically it was completely different and sexy.” So if there’s a theme with Chesney, it’s that there is no theme. He can go down so many paths, lyrically and melodically, without sacrificing anything. Because in the past 15 years, one thing has never changed. And that’s Chesney’s distinctive, heartfelt vocal delivery.