OFFSTAGE: Kenny Chesney’s New Album Includes Song About Alzheimer’s Disease

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

I have not listened to Kenny Chesney’s upcoming album, Welcome to the Fishbowl. But there is a song on it I know I’m going to be crazy about from the title alone. “While He Still Knows Who I Am” is, according to Billboard , a song about someone going back home to visit a father who has Alzheimer’s disease. But Chesney told the magazine, “It’s got so much more than that.” He says there’s an element of searching in it. “This guy’s going back to reconnect with his father, but in a sense he’s trying to connect with himself, too. He’s busy and he’s getting lost in the world, and that was me to a T, really,” Chesney said. (That makes it sound very “Cat’s in the Cradle.”) He adds, “It’s interesting that I have this knack for connecting with thousands of people in an audience and, in an ironic kind of way, in the middle of doing that I’ve felt this disconnect from the people that love and care about me the most and molded me as a person growing up in East Tennessee.” I don’t know any more than that. I don’t know if Chesney comes out and sings the word “Alzheimer’s” (because honestly, what rhymes with that?) in the song. I don’t know if it has a happy or sad ending. And I don’t know if it forced Chesney to do some reconnecting of his own. I just know I’m going to love it like I love all of his heartbreaking songs: “Don’t Blink,” “The Good Stuff,” “Who You’d Be Today” and “There Goes My Life.”

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