Kenny Chesney Launches “Here and Now” Album / Tour
As Kenny Chesney prepares for his 16th headlining concert tour in support of his 19th studio album, Here and Now spanning 41 cities this spring and summer of 2022, we at Takamine can’t help but look back and wax a little nostalgic.
It was 1994 when the 26 year old Chesney, fresh from his hometown of Knoxville was introduced to Takamine Guitars in Nashville. Kenny had just signed to indie label Capricorn Records and was in need of a good live acoustic guitar. Mutual friend, Billy Craven knew just whose number to call and Kenny would soon own his first Takamine, an EF360SC (currently P5DC) and play it in his first video, That's All I Need to Know.
But it was the sweet little short-run, spruce top, Koa back-and-sides Takamine New Yorker FP317S that really hit home with Chesney. Better suited in terms of tight tone and size, the 1995, FP317S would appear in the video for Kenny’s first #1 song, She's Got it All and then again in the game changing, No Shoes No Shirt No Problems.
The No Shoes Album would launch Kenny’s career into rarified orbit and redefine Kenny’s FP317S from the familiar, all-purpose stage and video guitar into Chesney’s personal, everyday play-favorite, known from that point forward as, “The Boat Guitar”.
With the 317 now on permanent spring break, Tak models like the EF261SBL would step in as Kenny’s stage guitar. But the OM bodied EAN70 (Similar to current P3MC) with its clear voice and cedar-satin suntanned look quickly became the now famous beach-bum’s new #1.
Soon Kenny was customizing his EAN70 with personalized tiki artwork, effectively expressing his tropical lifestyle while inadvertently laying groundwork for what would become the KC70, the most personalized of Takamine’s 5 Signature Model Guitars.
As is the case with every hand-crafted instrument born of Takamine’s world class factory in Nakatsugawa, the primary statement made by the KC70 was not by way of showy inlays or aesthetics, but rather the instrument’s unique ability to deliver clear and true acoustic tone to every single seat in any given sold-out concert arena or stadium – a requirement that sent most A/E guitar brands slinking away in shame, but had become an unspoken staple to the club-dog Chesney who now enjoyed performing solo-acoustic sets with his Tak for intimate gatherings of 80,000.
A few KC tours ago, Kenny’s original, well-played, fun-stained EF317S made its way back from the boat and onto stage, granting the road-worn KC70 its own hiatus of well-earned beach time.
Now, for this 2022 Here and Now Tour both guitars stand side-by side-in Kenny’s rack, tanned, tuned and ready to sing their bouts off. Each reflecting contributions, individual and collective, to the nearly 30 year career of one of the most successful American crossover artists, and nicest guys of all time - the great Kenny Chesney.