By the time Kenny Chesney leaned into his set’s last song almost two hours after taking the stage at the legendary Stone Pony, it was clear that the aptly titled “Don’t Happen Twice” captured the feeling of the chilly New Jersey night. Inside the belly-to-belly club, it was so hot the 8-time Entertainer of the Year was covered in sweat from the second song – and outside, the several hundred hopefuls who couldn’t get a ticket were bathed in the music rolling out of the open doors and onto Ocean Avenue.
For Chesney, the show capped the launch of his No Shoes Radio on SiriusXM. Like the radio station Chesney pioneered eight years ago, the set was eclectic – multi-instrumentalist Jon Conley did a spot-on Willie Nelson for “Whiskey River,” Harmoni Kelley did her now-expected take on AC/DC’s “Whole Lotta Rosie” and guitarist Clayton Mitchell did a blazing take on Stevie Ray Vaughan’s “Pride And Joy” featuring a harmonica cutting contest between tour coordinator Robin Majors and legendary photographer Danny Clinch – and full of heartfelt moments, including rare performances of “The Life,” last fall’s three week No. 1 “Save It For A Rainy Day” and a rendition of “When I See This Bar” that had the audience singing the chorus response louder than the band.
“There’s something about playing a real live bar,” Chesney said. “The audience is so close, so ready for the music, it’s like the night explodes. For something being broadcast live across America, I can’t think of a better place to celebrate No Shoes Radio on SiriusXM.”
The audience – SiriusXM subscribers who won tickets – came in from across America. Aware of the lengths travelled, as well as the people listening at home, he sent regards to everyone “everywhere from Maine to Malibu.” Later introducing “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” he proclaimed “Everyone out there in the No Shoes Nation, this is your anthem – and has been since 2002!”
With “Noise,” the last minute swapped single from Some Town Somewhere being Chesney’s most added first week single ever, the man the Dallas Morning News called “Two parts Mick Jagger, one part Bruce Springsteen, one part Billy Graham” is hitting a new creative peak. His Spread The Love Tour reflects that passion for music among all of this year’s participants.
Towards the end of the set, Chesney talked to the audience of the debate he had about the next song. “Part of me thought it was cliché, part of me wanted to pay respect… This song was on my No Shoes album, and I got an amazing letter from my friend from Asbury Park. It was one of the highlights of my life. I believe Bruce is in Barcelona, so Bruce, greetings from Asbury Park!”
As the crowd cheered, an acoustic guitar part hushed the room – and Chesney’s easy baritone found its way through, “Woke up this morning, the house was cold/ Checked out the furnace, she wasn’t burnin’…” In a complete gear switch, he moved from the propulsive “Noise” and “American Kids” to the stunning “One Step Up,” and the audience followed him.
“That’s the thing about these sorts of shows: you can hit hard and throw fast, but the crowd is so right there, you can also make it pin-drop quiet in a few bars,” Chesney marveled. “It was the kind of night, the music could lead – and we let it.”
With his Spread The Love Tour, kicking off with 50,430 fans at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium, heading to Mohegan Sun for two nights, Chesney’s summer is already blazing. With The Stone Pony show to fire him up, it’s gonna be quite a weekend.
– Posted by TawnyTucker CMTT
The International Country Gospel Music Association has a special place in James Marvell’s heart. He found life long friends among ICGMA members and has recently re-connected with many of those members on Facebook. Gospel artists and fans who have never attended one of the conventions are missing out on a blessed time of not only experiencing the worship but the joy, fun and fellowship of fellow Christians.
In the photo above: 1995 ICGMA photo (L to R) James Marvell, ICGMA president Wendy Duvall, co-founder Billy Holcomb, Milly Holcomb and Harold Duvall.
James truly appreciated the Gold Cross award that was presented to him in the past and also the honor of having his then #1 “Only Christian Country” chosen as ICGMA’s official/exclusive theme song. It’s the only theme song in ICGMA’s 60 year history. Recorded in the 90s and promoted to #1 by Rhonnie Scheuerman, Marvell re-released the song in 2016 on Colt Records and Airplay Express to celebrate ICGMA’s 60th Anniversary. It has been brought back to #1 by top DJ/record promoter Jerry Mac.
Sharing Jesus love in song is an important part of Marvell’s life. He knows the powerful determination that other artists have to share their music with the world. James has written a number of Gospel songs including the dramatic composition “Prophecy”, sung by Marvell and narrated by ICGMA’s president Dan Duncan. James prays God’s Blessing on this special homecoming in West Plains Missouri, August 4th through the 6th, 2016 and plans to attend. Find more at: www.icgma.org
– Faye Marvell 4 WHISnews21
‘His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him’” (vv. 2-3). When someone is trapped in a self-destructive habit, we sometimes say, ‘It runs in the family.’ Psychiatrists tell us that 90 per cent of those who abuse others were first abused themselves; they are simply ‘acting out’ what was done to them. They say if alcoholism and addiction run in your family, you’ve got the addictive gene, which means you’re at much greater risk if you pick up a drink or a drug. But you’ll notice Jesus didn’t get into the ‘nurture or nature’ debate. In essence, He said, ‘This is just an opportunity for God to demonstrate His love and grace by setting this man free.’ So your problem may be too big for you, but it’s not too big for God. It’s actually a platform for Him to demonstrate His grace in your life. ‘Therefore if any person is [engrafted] in Christ (the Messiah) he is a new creation (a new creature altogether); the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has passed away. Behold, the fresh and new has come!’ (2 Corinthians 5:17). God doesn’t consult your past in order to determine your future. Before you met Jesus, you were spiritually dead. That’s why He said, ‘…you must be born again…’ (John 3:3). From that point forward, the past no longer has any power over you (except the power you give it). So you can break the cycle.
Prayer Heavenly Father,
help me to break those cycles of sin from my past to be a new creation in You!
In Jesus’ Name, Amen