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Kenny’s Taking A Breather

Our Country

Okay, so everyone got a little derailed with the Video Music Awards drama this week (myself included). But now it's time to boil back down to business. Don't worry--Imma let you finish stewing about Taylor Swift, if y'all want. But can we talk about something else for a minute? Something that flew a bit under all the Kanye West jokes flying around.

Kenny Chesney announced that he plans to cancel his annual summer tour. That's right. He told Entertainment Weekly that he won't be doing his usual thing in 2010. He'll be finishing up his tour schedule for this year tomorrow, in Indianapolis, and then--that's it, for an unspecified amount of time.

What the heck is going on here? First, Brooks & Dunn announce they are calling it quits. Now another country-music institution is going kaput, for pete's sake.

Of course, this is better than Kenny outright hanging it up. But still--his summer tour has been a fixture for country fans for several years now. And Kenny's shows are more of an event than just your usual evening of live music. Tailgatin', gettin' rowdy...gettin' arrested (more than 100 folks doing just that, at one of his shows this August).

And, most importantly, they're consistently in demand. Kenny's annual tour has consistently been a top seller at stadiums and ampitheaters across the nation. Summer without Kenny...well, it's kind of like summer without baseball. Or sunblock. Or Fourth of July fireworks. Right?

Kenny's reason for taking a break is pretty much what you'd expect: "I'm worried about burning myself out," he told EW. He also expressed concern about "giving the fans what they deserve."

All fine and well. He's got a lot of irons in the fire right now, including a brand-new clothing line, and has been on a rapid-fire pace for the past five years. Like Brooks & Dunn, he probably wants to spend some time with his loved ones. And, he was quick to note that he will not quit playing live entirely next year. Just won't be headlining a major tour.

He deserves a break; sure.

But, when I hear about these surefire, can't-lose, why-fix-it-if-it-ain't-broke situations (B&D quitting, Kenny putting the brakes on the biggest show on earth), I just get a little depressed. In one way, it takes a lot of grace to admit that one needs a change. But that doesn't make it any less a bummer for us folks watching the lights go out.

Are you upset that Kenny's not touring next year? Let us know what you think.

Here's Kenny's "Living In Fast Forward," just to go with the theme of this entry.

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