Music

Kenny Chesney’s ‘Jesus and Elvis’ is Country Songwriting Gold

Allister Ann

Look out. Kenny Chesney just premiered a new song off his upcoming album Cosmic Hallelujah called “Jesus and Elvis.” Now, Chesney has a ton of hard-earned fans. He built a career and a brand off some timeless hits and some forgettable cliche-heavy head scratchers.

But if you don’t quite love Chesney for what he’s already done, you’ll still love this tune. How do we know? For starters, Matraca Berg, Hayes Carll and Allison Moorer wrote it. Those Americana heavyweights penned some amazing songs in their own careers. Carll recently appeared on the Grammy ballot for his song “Chances Are.”

In “Jesus and Elvis,” Chesney returns to the bar. It’s a place that served him well on tunes like 2002’s “The Good Stuff.” But in the short narrative, he describes the scene of locals at a small dive decorating for Christmas. In particular, the mother of a fallen soldier from a “war nobody won.” She’s decorating in his honor.

But it’s not depressing scene. It’s comforting, sitting “‘neath a neon cross and a string of Christmas lights.” Chesney’s delivery lands pitch perfect for the mood, too. Carll told an ACL-taping crowd the bar in “Jesus and Elvis” has roots in Austin. Dive bar Lala’s Little Nugget inspired the scene.

Fans can pick up Kenny Chesney’s new album Cosmic Hallelujah tomorrow.

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Kenny Chesney’s ‘Jesus and Elvis’ is Country Songwriting Gold