Rolling Stone - p.923 stars out of 5
-- "'Shift Work' is a fine duet with George Strait..."
Entertainment Weekly - p.76
"'Don't Blink' is a meticulously pop-crafted slow burner with a monster hook that also features a reflective verse..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.1043 stars out of 5
-- "[T]his record is all about pleasantness....This album will add more platinum to Chesney's awards cabinet."
Personnel: Kenny Chesney (vocals); John Williams (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, gut-string guitar, talk box); William F. Bowman, John Willis (acoustic guitar); Joe Walsh (electric guitar); Quentin Ware, Jr. (trumpet); Gary Prim (piano, Hammond b-3 organ, Wurlitzer organ, keyboards); Randy McCormick (piano, Hammond b-3 organ, keyboards, synthesizer); Paul Lein (drums); Chris Stapleton (acoustic guitar); Kenny Greenberg, Pat Buchanan, Vince Gill (electric guitar); Sonny Garrish (steel guitar, dobro); Dan Dugmore (steel guitar); Scott Vestal (banjo); Rob Hajacos (fiddle); Mickey Raphael (harmonica); Jeff Coffin (tenor saxophone); Jim Horn (baritone saxophone); Steve Herman (trumpet); Chris Dunn (trombone); John Hobbs (piano, keyboards); Larry Paxton (acoustic bass); Paul Leim (drums, percussion); Mat Britain (steel drum); Eric Darken (percussion); Jon Randall, Jonell Mosser, Andrea Zonn, Bekka Bramlett, Melonie Cannon, Tim Hensley, Wyatt Beard, Buddy Cannon (background vocals).
Additional personnel: George Strait, Joe Walsh .
Audio Mixer: Kevin Beamish.
Liner Note Author: Judy Forde Blair.
Recording information: Blackbird Recording Studios; Emerald Nashville, TN; Keith Harter Music, San Antonio, TX; Love Shack Studio; Masterfonics Recordings Studios; Studio Without Walls, Los Angeles, CA; The Sound Emporium; The Tracking room; Westwood Recording Studios; WEstwood Sound Studios; Willisoundz.
Photographer: Glen Rose.
Kenny Chesney titled his 11th studio album JUST WHO I AM: POETS AND PIRATES out of the belief that modern country musicians contain a bit of both, due to their artistic nature and their peripheral, "on the road again" lifestyles. The album features elements of both, combining some of Chesney's sweetest love songs with a handful of rowdy country rockers for balance. One of the latter, "Wild Ride," is a manic party tune featuring the Eagles' Joe Walsh for just the right shade of dissolute atmosphere. The other duet, the twangy working man's anthem "Shiftwork," features George Strait in his comfortable new role as the elder statesman of Nashville's new traditionalists. Between those two songs, highlights include the philosophical "Don't Blink," the rowdy "Got A Little Crazy," and the lovely "Better As A Memory." Chesney is in fine voice throughout, and the song selection is, as always, a top-notch set of Music Row's finest, making JUST WHO I AM: POETS AND PIRATES yet another solid outing by one of Nashville's most dependable hitmakers.