Kenny Chesney certainly knows the good stuff. It’s been 19 years since the artist released his career-defining album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems. Chesney dropped the album back in 2002, inspiring a generation of new artists.
With tracks like “The Good Stuff,” “Young,” “Big Star,” and the titular “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” the album was a rip-roaring good time, but also a poignant look at life. Only an artist like Chesney could imbue a deeper meaning to his party anthems.
The country artist may have already been a big deal before the album dropped on April 23, 2002. But No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems further established Chesney’s dominance in country music. To celebrate the album’s anniversary, Outsider is taking a look at two of its biggest songs.
Finding ‘The Good Stuff’
Kenny Chesney had a major hit on his hands when he released “The Good Stuff” as a single off his album. The track reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart. It also became one of Chesney’s longest-lasting No. 1. hits, spending seven weeks at the top.
Written by Craig Wiseman and Jim Collins, the song explores the good stuff in life. No, that’s not found at a bar or a bottle of whiskey. According to the song, the good stuff is life’s smaller moments and the people that you meet along the way.
Singer Chris Bandi knows a bit about the good stuff himself. The artist is one of Nashville’s most promising stars. He has numerous influences, but he lists listening to Chesney’s “Summertime” as one of the pivotal moments in deciding to become an artist himself. To celebrate the album, Bandi performed an exclusive cover of “The Good Stuff” for Outsider.
Whether it’s Bandi or Chesney singing it, there’s no denying the tune’s power. “The Good Stuff” urges listeners to cherish moments with loved ones before they’re gone. Sometimes little moments make all of the difference.
Chesney Has ‘No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems’
Of course, “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems” was the title track for a reason. While it might not be as poignant as “The Good Stuff,” the song is iconic in its own right. The track lets Chesney take off his figurative cowboy hat and relax near the beach somewhere in Mexico.
Jimmy Buffett made a career on the carefree cabana of such songs. And Chesney proves he knows how to have some tropical, summer fun himself. The song became a signature one for the artist, inspiring his fanbase to adopt the title No Shoes Nation.
Chesney’s song was written by songwriter Casey Beathard. The “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service” signs proved to be an inspiration for the song. Those signs proved popular in the 1960s and 70s as a response to the hippie movement. Businesses would turn away customers who didn’t wear a shirt or shoes. Bethard also felt inspired by Sean Penn’s stoner character from the 1982 comedy, Fast Times At Ridgemont High.
Chesney loved the song as an anthem for those wanting to get away.
“I picked up a guitar and I stumbled through it, a verse and a chorus,” Beathard told The Tennessean. “And Kenny goes, ‘Man, that’s where I am right now in my life. I’ve been just really spending a lot of my time in the Virgin Islands, just getting away, and that’s me.’ He said, ‘Dude, you need to finish that song and get it to me.'”
The track proved to be a perfect choice for Chesney to headline his album. Almost two decades later, Chesney is still going strong in country music. But the album provided several iconic songs for the artist.