Wednesday, March 3, 2010
– After treating a standing room only crowd at the Ryman Auditorium to almost two hours of music, Kenny Chesney and Steve Miller decided to celebrate their "Crossroads" taping by deciding to do an impromptu jam at Tootsie's Orchid Lounge on Lower Broadway.
The pair walked down the ally between the Ryman and the bar, went in the back door and made their way to the front stage and straight into Miller's classic Fly Like An Eagle.
"If you're at the Ryman... and you want to do it the way the old Opry stars did, everybody knows it was out the back door of the Ryman, cross the ally and sneak in the back door of Tootsies. Kristofferson drank there, and Willie. Hank Williams, Patsy Cline. If I was gonna show my friend what this experience was all about - especially after a night as great as our 'Crossroads' taping had been... then we had to do Tootsies."
Taking the stage at a little bit before 11, the pair played into Wednesday morning on the tiny stage in the front window. Beyond Miller classics like Take The Money & Run, Abracadabra, The Joker and Rock'n Me, the pair also played Hank Williams Sr.'s Mind Your Own Business, Chesney's Livin' In Fast Forward and Stevie Ray Vaughan's Love Struck Baby.
"The thing about Steve Miller is he's a music guy, not a genre guy. He loves everything and sees the sweet spot on Hank Sr. as easy as he does Jimmy Reed... and that's what makes being onstage with him so much fun - and what makes his songs hit people in so many places at one time. And you know it's funny, because those songs are such a part of who we are, when I looked out at the crowd - at the Ryman or at Tootsies - you could tell that everyone listening was suddenly 17 years old again and right in that moment of being young, being free and being so alive and in love with music.
"But what's funny, for me, is as much as I have a time and place for every one of those songs... and those are powerful memories, just look at 'I Go Back,' after tonight, those songs for me are going to be standing onstage with one of my idols, getting to live one of those crazy dreams you have when you're a kid. Those impossible dreams are every bit as much a part of the music as anything."
Though no airdate has been set, look for "Crossroads" to debut on CMT: Country Music Television in July.