While normally he’d be somewhere in the sun right around now, Kenny Chesney is making a rare late night T.V. appearance “Late Night with Seth Meyers” Monday, December 18.
Singing his never-performed “Jesus and Elvis,” from his Grammy-nominated Cosmic Hallelujah, the 8-time Entertainer of the Year will also be Meyers’ lead guest on Monday night’s show.
“So much has happened to us in the last four months,” Chesney says, “and it all just kept coming. I know I’ve not done or said anything about Live from No Shoes Nation, to talk about the fans who created this place without borders – and they are the reason for this album! When Seth asked us to come do the show, it seemed like the perfect way to celebrate the Grammy nomination, finally get to play ‘Jesus and Elvis’ and talk about the Love for Love City Foundation.”
“Obviously, anyone who knows me knows I’m supposed to be on a beach right about now. But to share everything that’s happened with the Virgin Islands, the animal rescue, this amazing live record the fans really created, well, I can endure some snow for that!”
With his last television appearance being “Anderson Cooper 360,” Chesney will speak to the work being done in St. John and the US/BVIs, the animal rescue he and his team spearheaded, how what started out as a sentimental way to capture the special moments in his live shows turned into a No. 1 all-genre Billboard album project and the unexpected Grammy nomination – his first on his own – for Cosmic Hallelujah.
“People who know me also know I prefer to let the songs do the talking,” he laughs. “So, sitting on the couch like this is a little unusual. But since I’ve had my head down on a couple projects, working with the most amazing people on helping all my friends in the islands, it seemed like a way to catch everyone up on everything that’s been going on and say ‘thank you’ to the people who’ve been part of the most amazing decade of music, life, love and everything in between.”
“Jesus and Elvis” will be given a stripped-down treatment, designed to let the song’s raw emotion rise to the surface. Written by Americana Song of the Year winner Hayes Carll, Academy Award nominee Allison Moorer and CMA Song of the Year winner/Songwriters Hall of Famer Matraca Berg, the aching ballad portrays Lala’s Little Nugget, a jewel of an Austin tavern where the Christmas decorations stay up all year to honor the owner’s son who perished in the Vietnam War over a promise she’d made him when he reported for duty.
“It’s not a Christmas song, per se,” Chesney says. “But it sure is a good reminder for people how many struggle this time of year. Loss, memories, promises made… and the way we honor those things. The song blew me away when I heard it, and then when I heard the story about the place and the people there, it felt exactly the same as the places where I hang out: a lot of heart and soul, friends and not forgetting. So for everyone with something pulling at their heart this Christmas, this ‘Jesus and Elvis’ is for you…”
NPR cited “folk’s storytelling, soul’s honesty and gospel’s spirit,” while the Los Angeles Timesrecognized, “the new album offers deeper, more nuanced thoughts on the distractions of the Instagram era (“Noise”), the comforts of home (“Jesus and Elvis”) and even the stagnation of the American dream (“Rich and Miserable”).” Monday, fans of songs about real life, the underside of the holidays and the man from Tennessee can tune into “Late Night with Seth Meyers” – and hear all about it.