Kenny Chesney knew he wanted to get the No Shoes Nation together for one big show before The Big Revival hit the streets – and he knew he wanted that show to be something special. He also wanted it to reflect the laid back, easy-going hang that has come to mark his all-day outdoor plays.
After a quick site scout and a bunch of phone calls, the four time Country Music Association and four consecutive Academy of Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year settled on a spot along the Gulf Coast where Alabama meets Florida, and entire worlds come together: the Flora-Bama.
“I’ve been holed up making a record for the last year… and anyone who knows me knows how much I miss playing, miss the fans, but especially miss the culture the people who love this music bring with them,” Chesney says. “Obviously, this isn’t going to be one of those huge shows we do, but it’s gonna be a long day, a whole lotta music and even more fun.”
What he wasn’t prepared for – when the announcement hit on Wednesday (July 16th) that he would be making wristbands for the free show at the Flora-Bama on August 16th available at 7 am – was the volume of traffic that caused his website to literally shut down the site. But the No Shoes Nation is not to be denied, and when the RSVP portal re-opened at 7:30 am, the wristbands for the fenced-in beach area were snapped up in less than five minutes.
“Maybe the fans are as hungry to see me as I am them,” Chesney said with a laugh. “Cause I can’t wait to get out there and play. As I’ve said: I really miss not playing shows, seeing the people and having that exchange of energy that we have every night! The No Shoes Nation always brings it, and brings it hard – and they push me to be a better artist.”
“Obviously, this isn’t going to be one of those huge shows we do, but it’s gonna be a long day, a whole lotta music and even more fun.”
The Flora-Bama Lounge is located on Perdido Key, where Orange Beach and Gulf Shores meet. Established in 1964, it straddles the Florida/Alabama line and draws an eclectic mix of beach people, good ole boys, sports fans, locals, tourists, college kids, good timers, musicians and other folks looking to soak up the be-as-you-are environment.
“There are a few places that have the vibe, but not many bring together everything that – to me – makes for a great time: the beach, room to hang out, nowhere to hurry, lots of friends you don’t know yet – and an environment that says, ‘Come! Have a good time!’ The Flora-Bama has all that, and more… and getting out on that beach to play is gonna be awesome. I’m already psyched to know this is really happening.”
“American Kids” is taking the country charts by storm, #12 with a bullet on Billboard and #14 on Mediabase after three short weeks. The triple-rhythmed, double hook song captures an essential core sample of how freewheeling people live, love and come of age. A right now song, one people can embrace no matter their age, it embraces the moment, the joy and every opportunity to engage.
“When I heard ‘American Kids,’ I knew it was special… It was a song people – especially the ones in the pinpoint towns between New York and L.A. – really live, really capture. So I was thrilled to cut it, and when we went looking for a place to do this show, I wanted something that had that spirit, had that vibe… That’s what The Big Revival is all about, that’s what this show is all about – and this is what the Flora-Bama is.”
Author: Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.