s-l500Hands up who doesn’t like Mark Chesnutt. Perhaps some young country fans may not know him, but who, like me, grew up with the CMA, the country radio station you tuned in to from the American base in Vicenza and, with the few Cd’s that came from the USA, can not but appreciate this singer/songwriter from Beaumont TX. Mark Chesnutt is a myth, who embodies the good side of modern country music. Soft-spoken, kind, never over the top, tied to tradition, but at the same time a profound innovator, able to combine George Jones with Aerosmith. Hands up who doesn’t love Mark Chesnutt’s songs. “Bubba Shot The Jukebox”, “Too Cold At Home”, “Blame It On Texas”,”Almost Goodbye”, ”Ol’ Country”, to name a few, are cornerstones of modern country music, which have helped create a specific style, recognisable from the first few notes. This same style can be heard in this new Cd entitled “Tradition Lives”. After 8 years of silence, Chesnutt returns with 12 new songs that confirms the title: “Tradition lives.” Let’s start with “Oughta Miss Me by Now”, very classic country song, a shuffle, Mark Chesnutt style, beautiful also “So You Can’t Hurt Me Anymore”, melodic ballad in the style of “Thank God for Believers” whilst “Look at Me Now” is a perfect quick tempo two-step for those who like couple dances. Also noteworthy, the honky tonk “I’ve Got a Quarter in My Pocket”, the delightful “Is It Still Cheating” written by Jeremy Johnson, Randy Houser and Jerrod Niemann, to whom we must add “Lonely ain’t the Only Game in Town”, “Hot” and “Never Been to Texas”, inevitable tribute to the Lone Star State written by Chesnutt himself. Tradition lives on points out Mark, as if to reassure his audience and, oppose himself in some way to the overwhelming power of new country music (increasingly distant from the roots) that dominates American radio and television stations. As I said Mark Chesnutt is a myth. (Gianluca Sitta)