OFFSTAGE: Kenny Chesney’s Next Album Must Be Feel-Good Music

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that’s happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

How can I be so sure that Kenny Chesney’s next album will be full of blessed, happy, feel-good music? Because I just took a virtual tour of the recording studio where he made it. And the term “recording studio” doesn’t even begin to describe it. It’s the Ocean Way studio in breathtaking St. Barths, for starters. And it is nestled inside the over-the-top Caribbean beach villa at the Eden Rock Hotel . Chesney and longtime producer Buddy Cannon recorded and mixed the new music at the aptly-named Rockstar villa in the French West Indies. The Eden Rock site describes this particular accommodation as a $100 million yacht on land. And when you see the photo gallery, you have to agree. For somewhere between $9,000 and $32,000 a night, here’s what you get. The studio itself is decked out with all the best vintage and state-of-the-art equipment, like tri-amped high-resolution monitors. But then, the villa it lives inside has 16,000 square feet, four bedroom suites, a white-gold tiled bathroom, an Italian-styled kitchen that seats 12, pool table, private beach access and swimming and spa pools. And a Glen Affric whiskey bar with 40 different whiskeys. How can you not make good music when you are recording it here? Even if you’re gonna be down, like Chesney’s old song says, it would be nice to be down way down here.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.