Mark Chesnutt has been a fixture in Nashville since 1988. Two decades in which this charming guy from Beaumont, Texas, has been able to shape the genre decisively. Not with fashions, hypes or the hippest styles, but rather with his warm voice and his honest, moving songs, which have their origins in the bars and honky-tonks.
“Mark Chesnutt”, raved George Jones when Chesnutt won the CMA Horizon Award in 1993 at the beginning of his matchless career, “is real and authentic”. And the renowned American music critic Robert K. Oermann rejoiced: “When he suddenly popped up on the barren music landscape in 1990, I called him the ‘Hillbilly messiah’. That hasn’t changed at all”. A messiah, whose words and melodies are heard by millions: fourteen number one hits, 23 top ten singles, four platinum albums and five golden records make clear that this neo honky-tonker has advanced to become a classic of the genre; that he is not just emulating his personal heroes Hank Williams Sr., George Jones and Waylon Jennings, he is approaching them artistically album by album, tour by tour.
In a world that sometimes confuses style with substance, Mark Chesnutt possesses both. Remaining true to himself as a traditional country artist while still keeping up with the ever-changing country landscape, Mark has a knack for picking great songs; delivering them with his world-class vocals; and with real heart-felt emotion. Mark has set the bar for his generation - not just for his being a consistent hit maker, but because of his love of genuine country music. Mark Chesnutt’s personal integrity as well as his principal to record a genuine country song has made him a fixture on radio and in the honky-tonks. Chesnutt got his start, learning from his father, Bob Chesnutt, a singer, record collector, and major fan of classic country music. Playing along side his dad, one set at a time, Mark embraced his fathers influence and began making a name for himself. Mark sang covers by Lefty, Merle, George, and Waylon to develop his unmatched crowd-pleasing rapport and his authentic country style.
With his newest work Rollin’ With the Flow (2008), this father of three sons adds to his legend - with a CD which is of a piece. Nostalgic love songs such as “When You Love Her Like Crazy” and “When I Get This Close to You” alternate with snappy honky-tonks such as “Going On Later On” and shirtsleeve country rock like “If the Devil Brought You Roses”. But regardless of whether dreamy harmony or rocking rhythm - with his unmistakable voice, Mark Chesnutt makes each track his own, each cover version into his very personal story. Even with the title track, a classic from the repertoire of Charlie Rich.
Naturally Mark Chesnutt also does not lock himself into the sound and song inspirations of the here and now on Rollin’ With the Flow. Nevertheless, each of the twelve excellent tracks could date from the late 1980s or early 1990s. The magic word is “timeless quality” - and at the same time this is the motto for Rollin’ With the Flow. Fashions and hypes come and go, but Mark Chesnutt and his music will remain, just like the songs of Hank, George and Waylon.