Mark Chesnutt Stays True To His Roots and Releases Traditional Country Music

Mark Chesnutt albumCountry music has changed since the ’90s when Mark Chesnutt was releasing hits like “Bubba Shot the Jukebox,” “Gonna Get a Life,” and “Going Through the Big D,” but Mark Chesnutt hasn’t. With the release of his first new studio album in years, “Tradition Lives,” Nash Country Daily sat down with Mark to talk about the new album, his musical heroes and country music’s evolving ways.

“Country music has always changed, it’s evolved it’s never going to stop,” Mark tells Nash Country Daily. “It’s always going to keep moving. But the basics of country music are still the same. It’s just that some people are still doing that and some people ain’t. It just so happens that this is the type of music I do best and it’s the type of music I love. It will always change.”

You won’t hear any pop sounding songs on this album, it is straight up country to it’s core. “Tradition Lives explains itself,” shares Mark. “It’s traditional country music. It’s not a protest or a statement or a complaint. We thought it was a great title for an album full of traditional country songs— which is what I’ve always done.”

The lead single off the album, “Oughta Miss Me By Now,” reminded Mark of a certain legendary country singer. “I sat and listened to every single CD and email of songs that was sent to me.  “Oughta Miss Me by Now,” sounded so good to me and it sounded like something I wanted to sing.

1.  I’ve Got A Quarter In My Pocket
2.  Is It Still Cheating
3.  Lonely Ain’t The Only Game In Town
4.  Oughta Miss Me By Now
5.  Neither Did I
6.  So You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore
7.  You Moved Up In Your World
8.  Look At Me Now
9.  Losing You All Over Again
10. Never Been To Texas
11. What I Heard
12. Hot

That’s basically how I can explain the whole album. It’s just songs that I felt like I could sing and that I wanted to sing. Songs that I could identify with. It sounded like something George Strait would have done in the 80’s.”

A particular track Mark is proud to have on the album is, “Is It Still Cheating” – written by Jamey Johnson, Randy Houser and Jerrod Niemann. Listen as Mark talks about the track he loves:

And while the song “There Won’t Be Another Now ” was never meant to be a tribute to his friend Merle Haggard, after the passing of Merle and songwriter Red Lane, it became one. “It’s always been one of my favorite songs. I told Merle one time I was talking to him that that was one of my favorite songs that he’d ever done. He said, ‘Yeah, that’s a pretty song. Red Lane wrote that song.’ Red had written a lot of his songs. Merle then said ‘You should record that someday.’ So one night we sat around and did it. We just did that for ourselves just to have. All those years later, after Red passed away last year and Merle passed away this year, we decided to put it on the CD as a tribute.”

Tradition Lives, Mark’s first album of all-new material since 2010, was produced by Jimmy Ritchey and is available now. The album includes 12 new tracks. Watch as Mark talks to NCD about his new album:

Photo courtesy MCNM