Brett James has expended innumerable times co-composing with a who’s who of Nashville musicians and songwriters, crafting tracks that would be recorded by the likes of Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean and Dierks Bentley. One working day stands out as most likely his most fruitful songwriting session: creating with Kenny Chesney at the place star’s property on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Two days immediately after getting a contact from Chesney, James was with the state singer on St. John on a December evening. “We smelled that salt there and felt the heat breeze and went out and had some pleasurable that specific night,” the Nashville-dependent songwriter recalls for Billboard‘s Behind the Setlist podcast.
“The subsequent morning, I wake up and I grabbed a cup of espresso and my guitar and went out sat on his again deck, which experienced a person of the most beautiful views I’ve ever observed in my existence,” James carries on. “And I just sat there form of strumming a guitar, ingesting coffee and contemplating about lifetime. And two or a few hours later, at last, the back doorway to his home sort of creaks open up and Kenny sticks his head out. He seems at me and he goes, ‘Brett, we went out previous night.’ And I was like, ‘Well, yeah, we did. And, you know, probably that’s the track we ought to publish currently.’ So I started singing and strumming a small groove and singing a small music and our one melody and he type of joined ideal in and you know, we just like all great tune, we just talked and laughed about the night prior to for a couple two or 3 several hours and and we came up with the tune ‘Out Very last Night time.’”
“Out Last Night” finished up becoming the very first one on Chesney’s 2009 Greatest Hits II album. The vacation would have been deemed a success primarily based only on the to start with song, but James and Chesney pulled off the unlikeliest of encores by producing “Reality,” which Chesney would record for his 2011 album, Hemingway’s Whiskey.
“Both those people tracks ended up remaining No. 1 [on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart]” suggests James, who was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Corridor of Fame in 2021. “That was probably the best songwriting working day I’ve at any time had, simply because that’s in no way gonna happen all over again. So I have to thank Kenny for that working day. It was excellent.”
In the beginning signed to Arista Nashville imprint Occupation Documents, James unveiled his debut solo album in 1995 but has given that built a identify for himself as a songwriter with hits these as Underwood’s “Jesus, Consider the Wheel,” Bentley’s “I Hold On” and Tim McGraw’s “It’s a Organization Performing Enjoyment With You.” He introduced a solo album, Accurate Believer, in 2020.