Single Review: Kenny Chesney featuring Grace Potter, “You and Tequila”


June 18, 2011

In some parallel universe where I had actual musical talent and the opportunity to record an album, I suspect I’d forgo the pile of demo tapes sent to unknown artists and just look for awesome album cuts from great songwriters.

Matraca Berg’s catalog of recorded cuts would be a good place to start, an epiphany that serves Kenny Chesney well.  Berg is usually associated with female artists, and indeed, this song was originally recorded by Deana Carter, who also co-wrote the song.   But Berg’s pen has been responsible for some great moments from Keith Urban and Randy Travis, so it’s no surprise that Chesney does well with this one.

Chesney sings it with more personality and general presence than Carter did, and the record also benefits from picking up the pace toward the end, a choice that would have elevated Berg’s own version as well.  The harmony vocal of Grace Potter isn’t essential until the song starts to fade away, but it does ease some of the loneliness embedded in the lyric.

All in all, it’s just nice to hear Chesney singing a great song again.

Written by Matraca Berg and Deana Carter

Grade: A-

Listen: You and Tequila


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12 Comments so far

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  1. Ben FosterNo Gravatar says:

    I can’t remember the last time I loved a Kenny Chesney single this much.

  2. Leeann WardNo Gravatar says:

    This is a very good song and, oddly enough, I like Chesney’s version the best.

  3. TomNo Gravatar says:

    …if the fact that “she thinks my tractor’s sexy” will most likely still remain a bigger radio-hit for kenny cheseney than this vocal event/song of the year contender ain’t ironic – then it’s perhaps the fact that this “no-beach song” is arguably the best “beach-song and beyond” in his catalog.

    to think that he might win a cma-award not for exemplary work-ethik merits but for artistic ones… – quite a puzzling scenario.

  4. I’m a fan of both Kenny and Matraca Berg’s versions. I haven’t heard Deana Carter’s version, beyond the clip on iTunes.

    It is nice to see Kenny singing a real song again. While I’ve enjoyed his musical trips to the beach, (his Lucky Old Sun album is one of my favorites), it’s nice when he detours away from that every now and then.

    When he does it right, he shows he actually does have talent and isn’t just an object of affection for young women. His latest album has been surprising in that the singles have been far better than most of what he’s released to radio lately. I didn’t like “Live A Little” in the slightest, but he’s shown some great musical growth lately.

    Let’s hope he continues down this path

  5. BillyNo Gravatar says:

    This is one of my favorite Kenny Chesney singles in a really long time.

  6. BuddynoelNo Gravatar says:

    All-in-all, Hemmingway’s Whiskey has given Kenny everything he needed from a journeyman artist’s album. I would not be surprised to see this being the last cut released and leave the title cut to be album tracked by those stations that do that sort of thing. Y&T is a great song and one that he could sing with nearly anyone (so long as they are good looking and fit into a summer dress.)

  7. CraigR.No Gravatar says:

    The only song that Chesney has ever recorded that I liked or loved.

  8. Tara SeetharamNo Gravatar says:

    Agreed, K. Though I think the harmony is essential.

  9. KatieNo Gravatar says:

    Since this came out about the same time as the Paisley/Underwood song, for me it was impossible not to compare the two. Honestly, I love this Chesney one, and am not a fan of Paisley’s. Everything about this song is just better. I’ve never been a huge KC fan, but I do love this song.

  10. kpzephyrNo Gravatar says:

    (“The harmony vocal of Grace Potter isn’t essential until the song starts to fade away…”)
    (“Y&T is a great song and one that he could sing with nearly anyone (so long as they are good looking and fit into a summer dress.”)
    I disagree. How about a taste test, one with, one without.
    good song ->
    great song ->

  11. Julia HughanNo Gravatar says:

    I have to agree with Ben, I cannot recall the last time I was impressed this much by a Kenny Chesney single.

  12. MotownMikeNo Gravatar says:

    I never tire of this wonderful Berg/Carter song! This is one Chesney track that consistently gets the repeat treatment with about four or five uses of the word again after it!Repeat, again and again and again and again, etc.

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