(Lofton Creek Records)
I had a hard time getting past the first track on Mark Chesnutt’s new CD. I mean, the laid back melody, the beautiful pedal steel, and the wonderful lyric of “Things to Do in Wichita” had me at “hello.” It’s a great song, written by Jimmy Ritchey and Bob Reagan, and I am happy to report, it is followed by eleven equally great songs written by some on Nashville’s finest, including Mark himself.
“When You Love Her Like Crazy” is another country hit waiting to happen, and “Rollin’ with the Flow” could be Mark’s theme song, all about growing older while still staying young on the inside, with lyrics like “A lot of guys my age are raising kids/I’m still raising hell like I did.”
“When I Get This Close to You” is a downright beautiful love song, and “Come On in (The Whiskey’s Fine)” rocks swampy with a Southern Rock vibe that would be right at home on a Skynyrd album.
“Man in the Mirror” is an outstanding, deeply personal story written by Chesnutt about his father. “Long Way to Go” is a very nice shout out to the late Waylon Jennings, and is a song Mark calls his own biography, and the record closes with a tearful “She Never Got Me Over You,” rounding out an amazing indie album from the former major label golden boy. If you like real, honest to God country, check out Mark’s latest.
-Michael Buffalo Smith