Kenny Chesney Plays Producer for Willie Nelson
He's the reigning CMA Entertainer of the Year and one of the biggest-selling country acts of all time, but now Kenny Chesney truly has the job of a lifetime -- producing a Willie Nelson album. Chesney got the call from Nelson's camp and jumped at the opportunity, joining his and Nelson's longtime producer Buddy Cannon in the studio this week.
"I'm excited," Chesney exclaims. "I was out in the middle of the room today, just listening to it all go down... You catch the players' eye, and they're all feeling it, too. And you look in the vocal booth, and there's Willie Nelson, with his headphones on. It's hard to believe... and you're the one making suggestions."
The new project includes songs written by some of today's most accomplished songwriters, ranging from Kris Kristofferson to Dave Matthews, Guy Clark to Jimmy Buffett, Randy Newman to Nelson himself. The album is said to concentrate on vocals, merging Nelson's old-school style with Chesney's trademark warmth.
"When you hear him sing, there's only one Willie. You just want to make a record that's as good as he is. You want to live up to the standard he defines," explains Chesney. "Willie Nelson's an American classic. To be making music with him like this is the kind of thing you don't even dream! And the best part is -- everybody involved seems to feel exactly the same way."