Ballad From No. 1 Sales Debut Songs for the Saints Features Mindy Smith
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS — After the romping coming together in a divided world Get Along broke Billboards Country Airplay Chart record for the Most Country No. 1s by an artist, Kenny returns to country radio with the life-changing Better Boat. A song of grace in the face of humanity, it empowers without overpowering.
Of all the songs on Songs for the Saints, Better Boat really captures the emotion of that moment and the months following Hurricanes Irma and Maria, Kenny says. Theres an acceptance it takes to face those challenges and all that uncertainty, something I know Ive never seen in my lifetime.
Theres a lyric that goes, I ride the waves I cant control… And thats exactly how this was, and in some ways, still is.
Opening with a gut string guitar part played by 9-time CMA Musician of the Year and acclaimed songwriter Mac McAnally, Better Boat drifts through consideration of the wreckage life can be, and the journey through vulnerability to acceptance and grace. Written by Travis Meadows and Liz Rose, it features the luminous voiced Mindy Smith, the very first winner of the Americana Music Awards New/Emerging Artist.
Mindys voice is so much a part of my life on the islands: I remember Come To Jesus so many nights, and so many mornings. Her voice would drift in through the windows, across the water, and it would just hold you. Shes like an angel, or a spirit who makes everything feel like it will be alright and I thought thats everything this song says beyond the actual words.
Known for his game-changing ballads Anything But Mine, You and Tequila, Dont Blink, Better As A Memory, Boys of Fall as much as his high velocity tempo tracks, Better Boat transforms the experience of lifes challenges into something more. Its not just getting through the hard stuff, its finding a better truth about who you are.
Travis Meadows and Liz Rose really captured that raw edge that comes from being overwhelmed and unsure of how youre going to get there, but finding the faith to hang on, Kenny says. Weve all been there in one way or another, but its the ability to trust what you cant see when youre sure you cant take anymore that is so impossible to find sometimes. They not only put it in a song, but they put it on a song with a melody that feels like everything the song is trying to convey.
With The New York Times writing, the music gives him heroic, wide-open spaces, Rolling Stone opining it maps a cycle of grief and despair transformed into healing and resilience and Entertainment Weekly calling it, a love letter to the resilience of those living in the Caribbean, Better Boat is the perfect reflection of the project.
Kenny, whose 2018 Trip Around the Sun Tour was the only country tour to make Pollstars Mid-Year Top 10 Tours, plays Nashvilles Nissan Stadium this weekend. The performance is a homecoming of sorts for the East Tennessee superstar, whos spent the last year entrenched in rebuilding/recovery work in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands through his Love for Love City Fund.