In a world turned upside down, Kenny wanted to get extreme with the video for his Top 20 in four weeks and flying “Here & Now.” With a chorus that rings true, “You and me, ain’t it good to be alive/ Ain’t no better place, ain’t no better time...,” the high-energy Shaun Silva-directed video reinforces the message of a song that seemingly offers a reminder that the present is what we make it.
In part trying to bottle the feelings of anticipation and release that define his relationship with No Shoes Nation, the songwriter/superstar from East Tennessee had a hard time capturing the rush that is No Shoes Nation at the height of his stadium shows. While words can’t explain, parallels can show – and remind all of us, that in the present, there are all kinds of ways to stay alive.
“Even, or maybe especially, in times like these,” Kenny offers, “we need to remember how blessed we are to be alive, and to make every second count. Wherever, however you are, look around, dig in, get engaged! Love the people you’re with, find something to smile about; be mindful, but be happy – and obviously take care of yourself and others.”
Mixing together action footage from various extreme sports with Kenny performing behind the scrim that hangs in front of his stage set-up at stadium shows, the man Variety proclaimed, “Country music’s only true long-term stadium act” sought to recreate the anticipation and response the start of those massive concerts elicits. A surfer, a skydiver, a race car driver, a bull rider, a snowboarder, a country singer and No Shoes Nation all at the brink of the rush that makes what they do so exhilarating.
In a world where the bridge “Lotta people dreaming ‘bout one day, some day/ Waiting just around the bend/ I used to be one wondering when they’d come/ but now I’m living in...” can apply to many of us, the 8-time Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Entertainer of the Year wants to encourage listeners to live in the moment, because it’s the only thing guaranteed.
“No matter where you are, you can decide how to face it,” Kenny explains. “There’s a rush of adrenaline when you’re doing one of these sports, that’s beyond measure. It’s the way it feels for us, waiting for the Kabuki to drop. I wanted to give people a sense of how that feels, that crazy wild sense of being totally alive, because I think that’s what we’re all seeking. I think it’s why No Shoes Nation is so loud, so proud, so in the moment every time they take over a parking lot or throw all that energy back to us.”
And so the man who responded to two hurricanes with “Get Along,” who celebrated being your truest self with “American Kids,” offered the girl power ballad “Wild Child,” now offers two minutes and 51 seconds of absolutely euphoric attitude adjustment. At a time when there’s so much unknown, “Here & Now” offers a counterbalance and shift of focus that can empower us to maximize what we’ve been given instead of being weighed down by what can’t be controlled.