This past weekend we traveled down to Detroit’s Ford Field for the Kenny Chesney & Zac Brown Band concert. The concert itself was great. Chesney has entertaining down to an art and Zac Brown Band has gotta be one of the most talented and unique bands out there right now…they were outstanding.

Of course, as with most things, I found myself observing and soaking in what Chesney has built as his brand. The number of “island cowboys” in the crowd was dizzying. I haven’t seen that many straw cowboy style hats since a Jimmy Buffett concert. And I realized that Savannah will be accompanied to her first concert (and maybe her 2nd and 3rd…and 4th) by her dad…because those young girls should not have been wearing those Daisy Duke outfits (but that’s another conversation).

For several hours on a Saturday evening, folks in Detroit Michigan escaped. They were not doctors and lawyers and students and construction workers. They were not stuck in their cubicles or classrooms. They were drinking beer in flip flops, shorts, t-shirts, bikini tops and cowboy hats. They sang along and they danced in the aisles. They, as I like to say, forgot about the realities of everyday life for awhile.

Chesney, like Jimmy Buffett, has built a brand and a loyal fan base based on a lifestyle. He’s done this through his music, but also by giving us a glimpse into his life off-the-road. It’s a lifestyle most want…even if it’s for a few hours.

And yes…he’s now extending his brand beyond music. He has a clothing line and a sunglass line.

Envious? You bet.

One of my favorite parts throughout the show was between songs, when he’d give a quick background behind the song he was about to perform. At one point he mentioned how he use to sing on Tuesdays and Thursdays at a Mexican restaurant. Everyone, and every brand, has to start somewhere. I like to think that these first years of Snoloha’s grass roots growth are similar to performing with just a stool and a guitar…like Buffett and Chesney did. You are putting yourself out there for all to critique…stripped down with just your lyrics and six strings. It’s intimate. It’s risky. It’s damn scary. You slowly build a fan base and hone your skills a musician and a song writer.

I also like to think that when it comes to escapism, Snoloha is a brand that comes to mind for those that have been exposed to it. When life gets hectic, or when the weekend hits…it’s time to throw on a Snoloha shirt and forget about the realities of everyday life for awhile.

I also need to figure out how to get Snoloha in Chesney, Zac Brown or Buffett’s hands. I think they’d be able to pen the perfect Snoloha song…though Chesney kinda has already:

“Reality”, from Hemingway’s Whiskey

For me it’s a beach bar
Or on a boat underneath the stars
Or with my band up on a stage
For a while everything’s okay

For some it’s a fast car
Moonshine in a mason jar
And everybody has their way
Somehow to escape

Reality, yeah, sometimes life
Ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be
So let’s take a chance and live this fantasy
‘Cause everybody needs to break free from reality

Yeah, some days it’s a bitch, it’s a bummer
We need a rock and roll show in the summer
To let the music take us away
Take our minds to a better place

Where we feel that sense of freedom
Leave our worries behind, we don’t need ’em
All we need is a sunny day and an old tailgate
And we’ll escape

Reality, yeah, sometimes life
Ain’t all that it’s cracked up to be
So let’s take a chance and live this fantasy
‘Cause everybody needs to break free from reality




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