Kenny Chesney Drops in for a Low-Key Performance at Key West Bar [Watch]
Kenny Chesney's no stranger to a stadium, but there's just something special about small, unfussy bar stages, where an artist can sing just feet away from their fans.
Chesney — and an unsuspecting bar room full of listeners — got to experience that magic first-hand at Captain Tony's Saloon in Key West, Fla., recently, as the country superstar took the stage for an impromptu performance of his 2011 hit, "You and Tequila."
Originally recorded as a duet with Grace Potter, "You and Tequila" — a searing ballad about a dangerously intoxicating love affair — earned Chesney a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It's a fan favorite, and frequently makes an appearance in his live set list, but this intimate ballad is best served by a venue like Captain Tony's.
In the small setting, Chesney's emotional vocal delivery and intimate lyrics could take center stage, attended only by the gentle strumming of his acoustic guitar.
Chesney dressed down for the occasion, wearing shorts and a backwards ball cap. It was fitting for the dive bar-esque setting, a pool table in the background behind the singer as he sang.
"Feeding my creative soul at Capt. Tony's," Chesney writes in the caption of his video post. "Thanks to everyone for allowing me to sit in."
Though the singer's appearance at the bar was a surprise, it wasn't completely unheard of for Chesney to be hanging out in that part of Key West. Not only does he famously love the beach, but he's made frequent appearances down the block from Captain Tony's at Sloppy Joe's Bar, playing shows there in 2008, 2009 and 2016.
In general, Captain Tony's has a colorful musical history. Jimmy Buffett often performed there early on in his career, in the 1970s, and name-checked the bar in the title track of his 1985 album Last Mango in Paris. Bob Dylan has also frequented the hot spot, and back in the 1930s, when the location was the original site of Sloppy Joe's, it was a favorite haunt of Ernest Hemingway, too.