Tuesday, March 25, 2008
– Kenny Chesney sings "Big Star," and now on his forthcoming tour, bands can be the big star thanks to Chesney.
"I've been thinking about how to do this for a couple years now," Chesney said of the Big Star Contest to select his local opening acts in 34 markets. "People told me I was crazy...and logistically, it's taken a whole lot of people to sort out just how to do it, to be fair and to find local bands all over America who deserve the shot. I mean, I remember having a record deal and getting to open for George Jones and what that meant."
"If someone's come into Chucky's Trading Post - or even the Turf in Nashville - and given me the opportunity to win a shot to open for Keith Whitley, I'd've died. I don't want anybody dying, I just want to help get them a little closer to the dream."
One grand prize winner will be given a tour bus for the final weekend of the tour where they will open all three shows in Tulsa, St. Louis and Indianapolis as part of the actual tour, plus $25,000 and the opportunity to audition for SonyBMG executives, the home of Chesney's label, BNA Records.
Stadium shows will feature a battle of bands the night before the actual concert. Arena and auditorium concerts will have their Big Star Battle of the Bands several weeks before in a local club.
"Getting a toe hold is harder in so many ways," Chesney says. "I had a lotta laughs along the way, but I'm amazed that I'm still here...looking back, knowing what I know now. I mean, you want it, you hang on, you fight for it, and you just keep believing. If we can give some good bands a little encouragement this summer as well as check out some of the best undiscovered country music that's out there in the clubs, the colleges, wherever, I can't wait."
The Poets & Pirates Tour kicks off April 18-19 in Connecticut and includes 14 stadiums.