Kenny Chesney and original beach bum Jimmy Buffett team up on a contemplative remake of Buffett’s “Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season” that appears on Chesney’s new album Songs for the Saints. The album, which includes the recent Number One “Get Along,” was released on Friday.
Chesney has drawn numerous comparisons to Buffett since entering the “No Shoes” phase of his career sometime around the turn of the millennium, at which point he began spinning island imagery into a frothy country piña colada as he cemented his superstar status. But beyond the surface resemblance, both performers have also displayed canny marketing skills by transforming their respective styles into full-blown lifestyle empires. Chesney’s launched a radio brand and a line of rums, among other ventures, while Buffett has enjoyed incredible success with his Margaritaville restaurants and hotels.
The two men have not often been musical collaborators, but Chesney did appear on a couple of multi-artist tracks from Buffett’s 2004 album License to Chill, including the title cut. “Trying to Reason With Hurricane Season,” written by Buffett and recorded for his 1974 album A1A, was never released as a single. In the gentle ballad, his narrator is exhausted from partying and senses the shifting winds of hurricane season, but can’t decide how he feels about having to pick up and leave. “Think I hurt my brain, but it cleans me out, then I can go on,” he sings, noting the restorative power of his coastal locale. It’s especially poignant in the context of Chesney’s new album — a love song for the Caribbean islands in the wake of Hurricane Irma, the recovery effort for which he’s donating proceeds from sales.
Chesney’s Trip Around the Sun Tour, which launched in April, is nearing its midway point. This Sunday, he heads north to Chicago’s Soldier Field, supported by Thomas Rhett, Old Dominion and Brandon Lay.