With the tide at country radio turning ever more ‘pop-oriented,’ it was inevitable that artists like Mark Chesnutt would lose airplay space to cookie-cutter acts favored by corporation-controlled radio play lists. Rather than wallow in self-pity over this fact, Mark Chesnutt’s last two independently released albums were two of his, and country music’s, best efforts. When his first single for Lofton Creek Records was released, the song was a moderate hit for Chesnutt.
With that success, Lofton Creek and Chesnutt created his new album of the same name. Once again working with producer Jimmy Ritchey, Chesnutt selected eleven more tunes that are firmly within the neo-traditionalist honky tonk music he’s always recorded. “Things to Do in Wichita” has a fun, shuffling beat while current single “When You Love Her Like Crazy” is about as classic a country ballad as one’s gonna hear nowadays. The sad thing about this ballad is that if George Strait or Joe Nichols would’ve recorded it, country radio’s two resident traditionalist artists would’ve had huge hits with this simple love song about how much people can truly be in love with someone.
The title track was originally a hit for Charlie Rich and it’s obvious from Chesnutt’s own rendition that Mark was born to sing a song like this. His true-blue country voice simply delivers a message that is easily relatable over a classic melody. As a life-long fan of Waylon Jennings, it’s only natural for Chesnutt to record a song steeped in the outlaw style. “Live To Be 100” is that song and it surely would do Waylon proud. “When I Get This Close To You” is the kind of classic Eddy Arnold, Nashville Sound ballad (complete with string section) that most country music fans under the age of 30 simply don’t know about.
Mark Chesnutt is at the point in his career where he doesn’t need to continually record albums yet he continues to do so. “Rollin’ With The Flow” is the kind of record that traditionalist country fans dream about. It has something for all those fans and if the country-pop fans listen to the record with an open mind, they’ll be sure to find something they like as well.