Track 10 on Kenny Chesney's new album (out 4/30) is titled, "Happy on the Hey Now (A Song for Kristi)".
Just who is Kristi?
She was an icon in St.John, who worked at Woody's and La Tapa restaraunts, and died before her time at 35.
"The 'Hey Now' is a boat. We had a lot of fun on it. This song is grounded in ways I didn’t see coming. Kristi was part of a circle of friends that defined my life. She didn’t care who I was or what I did. Kristi was good at life. She died before her time. I wasn’t going to put this song on the album, because it’s so personal. This song made me rethink everything" Kenny explained.
Kristi died giving birth to her daughter, and the baby died also. She was survived by her fiance, Ben Shepherd.
Kenny said he considers this song, and "When I See This Bar" as the lynchpins that inspired the entire project.
It should also be noted that Kenny dedicated his last album, "Welcome to the Fishbowl" to Kristi. From the liner notes:
"This album is dedicated to my friend Kristi Hansen who lost her life this year on March 6. She was young and beautiful and now she will always be young and beautiful. She had enough of an island free spirit for all of us. She was my friend and every note of this music is dedicated to her, her little girl Aria, kelly and Keith, and her family in Maine, Ben Shepherd and our wonderful circle of St. John island friends who all shared a lot of laughs over the years, countless boat trips on the Hey Now, countless happy hours at our favorite bar- usually with her ringing the bell, countless sunsets, and so many moments together sitting on some stretch of sand as time seemed to hang in the balance. Cheers kristi...You were everything anybody could want in a friend and more. I'm glad our paths crossed in this life and I am so glad that I got to know you. I know my life is better for it. I hope you are on your favorite sailboat with the sun on your face and the wind at your back. See you on the side my friend, somewhere in the sun."
Kenny's song for Kristi
Our interview with Kristi's fiance Ben Shepherd