NASHVILLE, TN Friday Feb.2.2007 / -- When The Nashville Scene unveiled it's annual Country Critics' Poll -- one helmed by Washington, DC's Geoff Hiems, who collected writers from Rolling Stone, No Depression, The Miami Herald, Paste, Harp, The New York Times, Blender, Urge, Vibe and The University of Texas Press among many others -- was the critics naming him "Live Act of the Year."

Chesney was delighted to see his friends and former George Strait tourmates the Dixie Chicks named the Act of the Year. Ditto the Wreckers being named Best New Act.

"I get that they have their standards -- and the things that connect with them aren't always the things that connect with the largest amount of people," Chesney said of the shock. "You know, when I'm on that stage, I have to work for the 20- or 30- or however many thousand people we have out there, and I can't really worry about a single or a few critics... that wouldn't be fair.

"But what I think is cool is they actually get that. They get how hard we work at rocking the people who come to see us... how hard we try to throw a big ole party everywhere we go, and send people home feeling like summer just hit them between the eyes. What we do is fun... and if it's not life-changing the way maybe Rosanne Cash or the Dixie Chicks are, it has its place in people's lives. "

"So by recognizing what we do on the road, it's kinda like the critics recognize how important those people coming to the shows are. It's like they get how important the things we sing about are in the course of their lives -- and that makes me really happy."

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