Hemingway's Whiskey

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Hemingway's Whiskey
Kenny Chesney - Hemingway's Whiskey.jpg
Studio album by Kenny Chesney
Released September 28, 2010 (2010-09-28)
Recorded 2010
Genre Country
Length 43:58
Label BNA
Producer Buddy Cannon
Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney chronology
Greatest Hits II
(2009)Greatest Hits II2009
Hemingway's Whiskey
Welcome to the Fishbowl
(2012)Welcome to the Fishbowl2012
Singles from Hemingway's Whiskey
  1. "The Boys of Fall"
    Released: July 12, 2010
  2. "Somewhere with You"
    Released: November 8, 2010
  3. "Live a Little"
    Released: March 14, 2011
  4. "You and Tequila"
    Released: May 31, 2011
  5. "Reality"
    Released: October 3, 2011

Hemingway's Whiskey is the twelfth studio album by American country music artist Kenny Chesney, released on September 28, 2010, by BNA Records.

This album received generally positive reviews from music critics. It debuted at #1 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling approximately 183,000 units in its first week. Also, it has since been certified Platinum by the RIAA. The album produced five singles on Billboard Hot Country Songs chart between 2010-2011. Four of those singles "The Boys of Fall", "Somewhere with You", "Live a Little", and "Reality" all reached number 1, while "You and Tequila" went to number 3.


In an interview with The Boot, Chesney explained the reasoning behind the title of his new release, citing the influence of Guy Clark, saying "I was sitting in my truck and a friend had given me Guy's album, which had just come out. It's a song that talks about living life to its fullest, being a man about your responsibilities and not compromising. As soon as I heard it, I knew I had to cut it -- and call the album that -- because it says everything about the way you live your life, and what life can be if you refuse to buy into limits, which, as someone who's read all his books, is everything Hemingway's novels revolved around."[1]

In a CMT blog, Chesney also commented saying that he wanted the album to be "something more " than its predecessor, Lucky Old Sun: "I came to town to write songs, to make records, to create something that spoke about how I lived, and the people who I knew who were just like me and my friends lived."[2]

"Small Y'all", a duet with George Jones, was previously recorded by Jones on his 1998 album It Don't Get Any Better Than This, and before that by Randy Travis on his 1994 album This Is Me.



The album debuted at number one on the U.S. Billboard 200, selling 183,000 copies during its first week. This was Chesney's sixth album to reach number one, thus ranking him second among country acts with the most number one albums, only behind Garth Brooks.[3] In its second week, the album dropped to number two on the Billboard 200, selling 65,000 copies.[4] In its third week, it fell to number six on the chart after selling 40,000 copies.[5] In its fourth week, the album plummeted to number thirteen upon selling 26,126 copies.[6] As of the chart dated July 2, 2011, the album has sold 850,706 copies in the United States.[7] As of September 23, 2011, it has been certified platinum by the RIAA.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Engine 145 3.5/5 stars[8]
About.com 3.5/5 stars[9]
AllMusic 3/5 stars[10]
American Songwriter 4/5 stars[11]
Chicago Tribune 2/4 stars[12]
The Dallas Morning News B+[13]
Entertainment Weekly B+[14]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[15]
Roughstock 4/5 stars[16]
USA Today 3/4 stars[17]

Upon its release, Hemingway’s Whiskey received generally positive reviews from most music critics.[18] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 67, based on 6 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[18] Jon Caramanica with The New York Times called the album "darker than his previous work", saying that "on Hemingway's Whiskey, though, his voice sounds smoother and deeper than usual, and he's using it to more potent effect".[19] He also preferred Chesney's version of the title track over Guy Clark's, saying that "[h]is version of the title track is of course far cleaner than Guy Clark’s, whose original take on it was practically withering on the microphone, but Mr. Chesney sounds studious and earnest."[19] Matt Bjorke with Roughstock gave it a four-star rating and called the album " a record that finds Kenny Chesney feeling recharged," and one "that runs the gamut of human emotion and paints stories the way Hemingway’s novels did."[16] Stephen Thomas Erlewine with AllMusic called the album "burnished and classy" and admired the amount of 'slow' material on the album.[10] American Songwriter critic Rick Moore gave it a four star rating. Describing it as "a solid effort", he commented on the songwriting of the album, saying it "pays homage to Nashville’s songwriting community".[11] At Rolling Stone, Jody Rosen found that "Chesney serves up the usual carpe diem anthems", however he noted that "when the mood turns serious, he slips: He can't muster the gravitas to pull off the title track, a maudlin tribute to Ernest Hemingway."[15] In addition, Rosen concluded with "as long as the weather's sunny and the blender's whirring, Chesney's fine company."[15] Robert Silva of About.com called the album a "solid effort".[9] At USA Today, Brian Mansfield proclaimed the effort to be "finely aged country".[17]

Bill Friskics-Warren with The Washington Post called it "his most stylistically wide-ranging [album] to date" and recommended the title track and "Small Y'all" as the best on the album.[20] Blake Boldt with Engine 145 gave it a 3½ out of 5 star rating, calling Chesney "the hillbilly king of the Caribbean." He said "with [the album] he maintains that image and proves that he can still let loose occasionally."[8] Mario Tarradell with The Dallas Morning News called Hemingway's Whiskey his "first exceptionally good CD since 2002's No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems.[13] Greg Victor with Parcbench called the CD his "first extraordinary album since No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems" He called the tracks "a little more grown-up than usual", and gave the album a 3½ out of 5 star rating.[21] Stuart Munro with The Boston Globe called it "another well-wrought articulation of Chesney’s musical world" but also noted that "it isn’t all that far from where he’s been since 2002’s No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems."[22] Jessica Phillips with Country Weekly gave it 3½ out of 5 stars, and noted that his decision to take the past year of touring off "paid off with a more cohesive collection of songs that are at once universal yet obviously personal."[23] She also called his take on the track "Small Y’all" "easily the most traditionally country tune Kenny has recorded during the past few years."[23]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "The Boys of Fall" Casey Beathard, Dave Turnbull 6:32
2. "Live a Little" Shane Minor, David Lee Murphy 3:39
3. "Coastal" Michael Mobley, Wendell Mobley, Neil Thrasher 2:40
4. "You and Tequila" (featuring Grace Potter) Matraca Berg, Deana Carter 4:03
5. "Seven Days" Lee Brice, Billy Montana, Jon Stone 4:20
6. "Small Y'all" (featuring George Jones) Bobby Braddock 2:54
7. "Where I Grew Up" Ashley Gorley, Kelley Lovelace, Thrasher 3:39
8. "Reality" Kenny Chesney, Brett James 3:31
9. "Round and Round" Scotty Emerick, Paul Overstreet, Even Stevens 5:05
10. "Somewhere with You" J. T. Harding, Shane McAnally 4:04
11. "Hemingway's Whiskey" Guy Clark, Ray Stephenson, Joe Leathers 3:28
Total length: 43:58


Charts and certifications[edit]


Chart (2010) Peak
Australian Albums Chart[25] 73
Australian Country Chart[25] 6
Canadian Albums Chart[26] 10
Norwegian Albums Chart[27] 37
U.S. Billboard 200[26] 1
U.S. Billboard Top Country Albums[26] 1
U.S. Billboard Tastemakers Albums[26] 24


Region Certification
United States (RIAA)[28] Platinum

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Year-end
US Billboard 200 75[29]
US Billboard Top Country Albums 12[30]
Chart (2011) Year-end
US Billboard 200 42[31]


Year Single Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
2010 "The Boys of Fall" 1 18 77 * US: Platinum[32]
"Somewhere with You" 1 31 16 52 * US: Platinum[33]
2011 "Live a Little" 1 61 78
"You and Tequila" (featuring Grace Potter) 3 33 62 * US: Platinum[34]
"Reality" 1 62 77
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
Preceded by
You Get What You Give by Zac Brown Band
Top Country Albums number-one album
October 16, 2010
Succeeded by
Bullets in the Gun by Toby Keith
Billboard 200 number-one album
October 16, 2010


  1. ^ Betts, Stephen L. (2010-06-22). "Kenny Chesney Takes a Shot of 'Hemingway's Whiskey' - The Boot". The Boot. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  2. ^ Bonaguro, Alison (2010-06-24). "Kenny Chesney Inspired by Guy Clark, Hemingway". CMT. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  3. ^ Caulfield, Keith (2010-10-16). "Kenny Chesney Claims Sixth No. 1 Album with 'Hemingway's Whiskey'". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-06. 
  4. ^ Caulfield, Keith (2010-10-13). "Toby Keith's 'Gun' Fires at No. 1 on Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-13. 
  5. ^ Caulfield, Keith (2010-10-20). "Lil Wayne's 'Human Being' Leaps 16-1 on Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-20. 
  6. ^ Bjorke, Matt (2010-10-27). "The Incredible Machine Tops The Albums Sales Charts This Week". Roughstock. Archived from the original on 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2010-10-30. 
  7. ^ "Father's Day Brings Strong Sales For Country Aritsts". Roughstock. 2011-06-22. Archived from the original on 2012-10-07. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  8. ^ a b Boldt, Blake (2010-09-28). "Album Review: Kenny Chesney – Hemingway's Whiskey". Engine 145. Archived from the original on 2014-12-18. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  9. ^ a b Silva, Robert (2010-09-10). "Kenny Chesney - 'Hemingway's Whiskey' Album Review". About.com. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  10. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas. "Hemingway's Whiskey - Kenny Chesney - Allmusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  11. ^ a b Moore, Rick (2010-11-05), Kenny Chesney: Hemingway’s Whiskey, American Songwriter, retrieved 2010-11-09 
  12. ^ Kot, Greg (2010-09-26). "Turn It Up: Album review: Kenny Chesney, 'Hemingway's Whiskey'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  13. ^ a b Tarradell, Mario (2010-09-27). "CD review: Kenny Chesney delivers on 'Hemingway's Whiskey'". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  14. ^ Pastorek, Whitney (2010-09-22). "Hemingway's Whiskey Review". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-10-01. 
  15. ^ a b c Rosen, Jody (2013-05-06). "Hemingway's Whiskey". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  16. ^ a b Bjorke, Matt (2010-09-23). "Kenny Chesney - Hemingway's Whiskey". Roughstock. Archived from the original on 2010-10-01. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  17. ^ a b Mansfield, Brian (2010-09-28). "Listen Up: Kenny Chesney is wiser on 'Whiskey'". USA Today. Retrieved 2013-05-06. 
  18. ^ a b "Hemingway's Whiskey Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  19. ^ a b Caramanica, Jon (2010-09-26). "Critics' Choice - New CDs From Kenny Chesney, Jane Monheit, Jason Adasiewicz - Review - NYTimes.com". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  20. ^ Friskics-Warren, Bill (2010-09-28). "Click Track - Album review: Kenny Chesney, "Hemingway's Whiskey"". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  21. ^ Victor, Greg (2010-09-29). "Kenny Chesney – "Hemingway's Whiskey" (Music Review)". Parcbench. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  22. ^ Munro, Stuart (2010-09-27). "Kenny Chesney, 'Hemingway's Whiskey' - The Boston Globe". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  23. ^ a b Phillips, Jessica (2010-09-24). "Hemingway's Whiskey : Kenny Chesney - Reviews - Country Weekly Magazine". Country Weekly. Retrieved 2010-09-27. 
  24. ^ "CMT : News : Kenny Chesney Plans Deluxe CD/DVD Edition of Hemingway's Whiskey". CMT. Retrieved 2010-08-20. 
  25. ^ a b "Chartifacts - Week Commencing: 11th October 2010". Australian Recording Industry Association. 2010-10-11. Archived from the original on 2010-10-12. Retrieved 2010-10-12. 
  26. ^ a b c d "Hemingway's Whiskey - Kenny Chesney". Billboard. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  27. ^ "Kenny Chesney – Hemingway's Whiskey – World Charts". Ultratop 50. Hung Medien. Retrieved 2010-12-05. 
  28. ^ "American album certifications – Kenny Chesney – Hemingway's Whiskey". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
  29. ^ "Best of 2010 - Billboard Top 200". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  30. ^ "Best of 2010 - Top Country Albums". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2010-12-31. 
  31. ^ "Billboard 200 Year-End 2011". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media, Inc. Retrieved 2012-05-04. 
  32. ^ "American single certifications – Kenny Chesney – The Boys of Fall". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  33. ^ "American single certifications – Kenny Chesney – Somewhere with You". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH
  34. ^ "American single certifications – Kenny Chesney – You and Tequila". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Single, then click SEARCH