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Kenny Chesney’s ‘El Cerrito Place’ Relives the ‘Insanity’

Columbia Nashville

Kenny Chesney‘s brand-new single, “El Cerrito Place” may have gotten its name from a street in southern California, but it brings back Texas-sized memories. Written and originally recorded by songwriting legend and Lone Star State native Keith Gattis, the haunting ballad was also a hit for Texas crooner Charlie Robison back in 2004.

“I’ve loved that song for a while,” Kenny says. “There is a certain longing in this song that in a lot of ways I really relate to. It’s about wanting something that’s obviously not there … this searching that we all have for love and lust, and someone that’s not in your life anymore. It talks about all of the measures that we go through to feel loved and to get that certain thing back that’s just driving you crazy. ‘El Cerrito Place’ has that certain insanity about it that I think is very relatable. There’s searching and longing that all of us have inside. I’ve felt every bit of emotion that the character in that song deals with.”

Charlie tells Houston, Texas radio station KILT that he’s impressed with Kenny’s version of the song and wasn’t at all surprised to see it on his Welcome to the Fishbowl track list.

“When that song first came out as a single, he called me and was like, ‘Man, I can’t stop watching that video and can’t stop playing that song,’” Charlie recalls. “I went to sing it with him at some of his shows, too. So I had the feeling he was going to end up doing that song someday and sure enough, he did.

“It’s hard to take a song that there’s a definitive recording of and make it your own, and I think he did a good job with it,” continues the tall Texan. “You’ve gotta stay true to it, but then again you’ve gotta put your own twist on it at the same time.”

While Charlie’s version features background vocals by the Dixie Chicks‘ Natalie Maines, Kenny recruited friend and former touring partner Grace Potter to sing backup on his interpretation. “She has a way of singing the harmony that makes you feel that person’s pain even more,” says the country superstar of the Nocturnals frontwoman, who first collaborated with him on the award-winning tune, “You and Tequila.”

“El Cerrito Place” is the third single from Kenny’s Welcome to the Fishbowl album, following “Come Over” and the CMA-nominated duet with Tim McGraw, “Feel Like a Rock Star.” Hear a clip of Kenny’s “El Cerrito Place” here.

Up next for Charlie is a live album and DVD, filmed last month at the legendary Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth. Its release date is forthcoming.

Watch Charlie Robison’s ‘El Cerrito Place’ Video
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