“I always thought ‘Flora-Bama’ was one of those songs people will know and sing, live and breathe whether it’s a single or not,” says the country star. “I’ve been told [Lynyrd Skynyrd’s] ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ wasn’t a single either, but everyone knows it.”
A full month before he even released Revival, fans were indeed singing back every word to Chesney’s ode to the famous oceanside bar and restaurant that sits right near the Alabama-Florida border. On August 16th, the singer performed a free show outside of the famed venue, kicking off his 32-song set with “Flora-Bama,” which he co-wrote with David Lee Murphy (who showed up as a surprise guest). More than 40,000 fans packed the beach for the concert, billed Flora-Bama Jama, and more than 300 boats were docked within a couple dozen yards of the stage — hearing the show via speakers pointed toward the water. Those loyal fans — many of whom camped out overnight — are just as much the stars of the official “Flora-Bama” video as Chesney, as the clip alternates between the massive concert and the country star performing solo on the beach.
The Flora-Bama Lounge & Oyster Bar has been in business since 1964. “This place is so many things to so many people, and it has been for a long time,” Chesney says at the beginning of his new video. “They’ve shared life here; friendships were born here; relationships were born here…. There’s 50 years of memories.”
The Big Revival is Chesney’s 13th Number One country album. He’ll kick off its namesake tour on his 47th birthday, March 26th.