At Saturday’s Gillette Stadium show in Foxboro, Kenny Chesney’s keyboardist Wyatt Beard was honored with the first ever CMA Touring Musician Award.
(Four-time CMA Entertainer of the Year Kenny Chesney and CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore presented the inaugural CMA Touring Musician Award to Chesney keyboard player Wyatt Beard Saturday during the Foxboro Stadium concert date in Boston. (l-r): Wyatt Beard; Shirley Beard, mother; Chesney; Karyn Beard, wife; Moore; and RD Beard, father. Photo courtesy of Sony Music Nashville.)
“This is a once in a lifetime ride that I will never even comprehend for another 20 years or so,” said Beard of playing with Chesney’s band. “I try to enjoy the moment.”
“CMA exists to honor excellence throughout the industry,” CMA CEO Steve Moore said. “I’ve witnessed firsthand the contributions and sacrifices touring musicians and vocalists make on the road. They play a significant role in the quality and popularity of our touring artists and are a segment of our industry very deserving of recognition.”
The Touring Musician Award was established by the CMA Board of Directors earlier this year. The award is presented to a touring musician who is known primarily as an instrumentalist or background vocalist in a non-headlining capacity. In order to qualify, a musician must have toured with an artist in the Country Music industry.
CMA members in the Affiliated, Artist, Musician, Personal Manager, Talent Agent/Promoter, and Talent Buyer categories were eligible to nominate and vote for the award recipient.
Beard, who lives near Nashville with his wife, Karyn, and two children, started playing piano before he was four-years-old. Never formally trained, at 5 he was playing for the public and by 9 he had his own band. At 15, Beard started a show in Branson, MO, where he played each summer through high school. After graduation, he moved to Branson where he played fulltime for seven years before being hired to play with Kenny Chesney’s band – a gig he has had for the past 14 years.
As Hurricane Irene beared down on New England, Kenny Chesney played in the rain for over 50,000 fans at Gillette Stadium. The second Boston show (the first was Friday night, rescheduled from Sunday night) marked the end of the 2011 Goin’ Coastal Tour.
Hurricane rains did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of Kenny Chesney’s fans on Saturday in Foxboro, MA, as 2,000 tickets released on the day of the show were snapped up within minutes despite hurricane warnings, bringing the attendance for Saturday’s show to 59,000 and the total for Chesney’s two sold-out Gillette Stadium shows to over 106,000.
As the first ring of storms from Hurricane Irene showered the capacity crowd in advance of Sunday’s expected storm impact, Chesney celebrated the close of his 2011 ‘Goin’ Coastal’ Tour with a triumphant set that included a massive crowd sing-along on “She’s From Boston,” a high kicking chorus line by Billy Currington and his band on “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems,” an audacious version of “Baby Got Back” with Zac Brown Band, and a mid-set award by CMA President Steve Moore to Chesney keyboardist Wyatt Beard as the CMA’s first-ever ‘Touring Musician of the Year.’ Chesney was jubilant during the show, calling the Foxboro crowd “one of the loudest and most loving crowds of the tour.” Beach balls flew through the air and a sunny spirit prevailed while waves of rain drenched the audience and the performers several times throughout the evening.
Did you attend a Goin’ Coastal show this year? Drop us a note in the comments section to share your experience.
Thanks for another great tour Kenny! See ya next year!
Kenny Chesney is in Boston for two shows at Gillette Stadium, and on Friday morning he made time to visit the Boston College football team:
Coach Frank Spaziani assembled the team at 9:45 a.m. and played Chesney’s music video “The Boys of Fall,” which chronicles the emotion involved with the game of football. At the conclusion of the video, Spaziani surprised the team by introducing Chesney, who received a standing ovation.
Chesney spoke to the team about the importance of personal sacrifice and sacrifice as a team in order to achieve goals. Spaziani presented Chesney with a Boston College football jersey and hat.
The day before Kenny Chesney plays to tens of thousands of fans at Gillette Stadium, he played to a few hundred at the Royale Nightclub as part of the CMA Songwriters Series.
The Boston Globe has a nice writeup on the show:
“When you hear songs on the radio and wonder where they come from, this,’’ said Kenny Chesney, sweeping an arm toward his left and right, “is where they come from.’’
The country superstar was gesturing toward five fellow songwriters on the stage at Royale – Bob DiPiero, Matraca Berg, Craig Wiseman, Wendell Mobley, and Brett James – who are responsible for some of the biggest hits in country music of the last two decades, including some of Chesney’s best-known songs.
Armed with acoustic guitars and their voices, the sextet spent 2 1/2 captivating hours singing, telling tales on each other, and breaking down what’s involved in creating the soundtrack to listeners’ lives.
It was a treat to watch Chesney, who graduated to stadium-level success years ago, shrink his larger-than-life persona down for the small stage, excitedly talking about the bones of his songs like “Old Blue Chair’’ and joining his partners in rhyme to play, sing backup and laugh along with their stories.
Read the full story here.
With Hurricane Irene expected to track up the east coast of the US, Kenny Chesney has moved his Sunday show at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, MA to Friday. The Saturday show will not changed.
“I want the last weekend of the Goin’ Coastal tour to be a great experience for everybody. But I also want it to be the safest experience for everyone,” said Chesney. “I’ve always said Foxboro is a highlight of our tour, because the fans are ready for a great night of music and fun no matter what night it is!”
If you have a ticket for the Sunday show, it will be honored on Friday. If you can’t make it on Friday you can received a refund.
Last week the New York Times profiled “Kenny Chesney, Inc.,” and now the Boston Globe has an article on what it takes to produce each stadium show. They’ve also got a time-lapse video of the construction of the stadium stage.
“Kenny’s special,’’ says Trunnell, a friendly Kentuckian who has worked for Chesney for seven years and previously logged miles with Elton John and Britney Spears, among others. “He’s not the artist that goes to the hotel or just flies in for the show. He has breakfast, lunch, and dinner with us. He comes in and out of the production office. He sees the whole process of the stage being built. He knows all the crew members by name. There’s not other artists that do things the way Kenny does it.’’
Different from an amphitheater like the Comcast Center, where there is a fixed stage, a stadium show requires that everything be built from the ground up. The construction starts nearly a week before the show, says Wannebo.
“The stage shows up in 13 trucks,’’ says the veteran who has worked with everyone from Van Halen to Hall and Oates. “The steel takes 30 hours to build.’’ The staging team works until Thursday. Friday morning the actual production equipment arrives in 16 trucks, and it takes nine hours to build, right up until sound check.
Be sure to read the full article and see the video here.
First announced back in June, Kenny Chesney will perform in Boston as part of the CMA Songwriters Series next week. And lucky for us, the show will be streamed live!
For the first time, audio from the show will be streamed live. Fans can visit www.CMASongwritersSeries.com or Chesney’s www.NoShoesRadio.com to hear the live performance as it happens.
“I came to town as a songwriter and always consider myself a songwriter first,” said Chesney. “I’m looking forward to playing alongside my friends and heroes who create and write amazing songs for a living. I’m really proud to help the CMA show the fans what great music comes out of Nashville from our awesome writers. I couldn’t think of a better place to showcase this than in the city of Boston. The fans have been amazing to us and I am thrilled to be ending our tour with over 100,000 sold tickets in one of the greatest markets in the world.”
Joining Chesney will be songwriters Matraca Berg, Brett James, and Wendell Mobley. Songwriter Bob DiPiero will be the host for the evening.