Kenny Chesney is enlisting the help of a few of his own musical heroes for his upcoming Songs for the Saints album. The Tennessee native reveals Jimmy Buffett, Ziggy Marley and Mindy Smith share their talents on his new record.
"Each one of them has a tie to my life in the islands, but also reflect some piece of what we're trying to do," Chesney says in a statement. "Ziggy Marley, and his family's legacy, holds so much truth for all of the people I know down there. Mindy Smith's Come To Jesus was an album I lived with from morning to night when I was first going down there – and her voice sounds like an angel. And Jimmy, more than the lost shaker of salt, understands the poetry of the islands beyond what tourists see, the life in a way that made a song written decades ago so current. I'm honored they also want to help."
Songs for the Saints was inspired not only by the devastation Hurricane Irma caused in the Virgin Islands, where Chesney lives, but also by the way the community rallied to help one another.
"Creating like this, you don't have a master plan, but the music will take you and teach you," Chesney explains. "I knew I wanted this album to show the spirit of the people, but I wanted it to focus on healing, on their gift to rise above such complete chaos and devastation. They had no power, no real food, nothing; they dug in, started clearing the land and rebuilding. To me, that's inspiring."
The 50-year-old is donating proceeds from Songs for the Saints to the Love for Love City Fund for Virgin Island Relief, doing his part to help those who are already actively working to repair the damage.
"I wanted to make a record that shows the spirit and resilience of the people who live on those islands, who are generationally tied to them, or are raising families there," Chesney says. "To me, it's about the hope, the strength, the joy and the courage they are bringing to the task of rebuilding after a kind of destruction no one has ever seen before. To let them know, they're not only not forgotten months later, but we're holding them up as inspiration – and offering help in any way that we can, including music. Because music heals, it inspires, and this is for them."
Songs for the Saints will be released on July 27.
Songs for The Saints Track List:
Songs for the Saints
Love for Love City (with Ziggy Marley)
Ends Of The Earth
Trying To Reason With Hurricane Season (with Jimmy Buffett)
We're All Here
Better Boat (featuring Mindy Smith)
Photo Credit: Instagram/kennychesney