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Savin' the Honky Tonk

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There's a lot of truth to the title of Mark Chesnutt's tenth album, 2004's Savin' the Honky Tonk. Chenutt began his career as a new traditionalist country singer, indebted to Merle and George and singing straight-ahead honky tonk, but as his star rose and the decade rolled along, he moved further and further into country-pop, culminating in his 1999 crossover hit "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," a cover of Aerosmith's love theme to Michael Bay's absurd Armageddon. It might have been his biggest hit, peaking at 17 on the pop charts, but this wasn't a breakthrough to a new level of success. Shortly afterward, he lost not only that newfound pop, but he had a hard ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
There's a lot of truth to the title of Mark Chesnutt's tenth album, 2004's Savin' the Honky Tonk. Chenutt began his career as a new traditionalist country singer, indebted to Merle and George and singing straight-ahead honky tonk, but as his star rose and the decade rolled along, he moved further and further into country-pop, culminating in his 1999 crossover hit "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," a cover of Aerosmith's love theme to Michael Bay's absurd Armageddon. It might have been his biggest hit, peaking at 17 on the pop charts, but this wasn't a breakthrough to a new level of success. Shortly afterward, he lost not only that newfound pop, but he had a hard time cracking the country Top 40 as well. He left Decca/MCA Nashville after 2000's Lost in the Feeling, releasing a formulaic eponymous album on Columbia in 2002, yet despite a modest hit in its first single, "She Was," the album disappeared quickly and, with it, so did Chesnutt's contract with Columbia. Left without a major, Chesnutt signed with the indie Vivaton and decided to abandon the increasingly poppy, polished material that characterized his albums of the late '90s. So, he turned back to honky tonk as much to save himself as to save it, and the results are by and large pretty terrific. Singing hardcore honky tonk, Chesnutt not only sounds comfortable and relaxed, he's re-energized, both by the straight-ahead setting and the freedom to pick songs without an eye on the airwaves. There are still a couple of ballads that are slightly treacly, but in this unadorned setting, the sentiment doesn't seem so saccharine. Plus, they're primarily used as a change of pace here, since the heart of this record is in twangy, rollicking honky tonk songs. Three songs mention drinking or beer in the title, two others mention honky tonks, one tune is about "Mama's House," and a bunch of others are filled with bad behavior, heartache, and humor. While Chesnutt's band is a bunch of Nashville pros, the music is none too polished -- it's clear that they're having a good time, and it's hard for listeners not to have a good time as well. Perhaps Savin' the Honky Tonk will be just a one-off for Chesnutt, and he'll return to poppier material after this return to his roots, but hopefully not. This album proves that he's at his best when he sticks to the hard stuff.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/21/2004
  • Label: VIVATON RECORDS
  • UPC: 180214000017
  • Catalog Number: 1

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mark Chesnutt Primary Artist, Vocals
John Wesley Ryles Background Vocals
Larry Franklin Fiddle
Paul Franklin Dobro, Steel Guitar
John Jarvis Piano
Brent Mason Electric Guitar
Glenn Worf Bass, Bass Guitar
John Wesley Background Vocals
Lee Ann Womack Background Vocals
Wes Hightower Background Vocals
Jimmy Ritchey Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Edward Bayers Drums
Technical Credits
Mark Chesnutt Composer
Vern Gosdin Composer
Billy Joe Shaver Composer
Shawn Camp Composer
Hank Cochran Composer
Red Lane Composer
B. James Lowry Contributor
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Jim McBride Composer
Ken Mellons Composer
Neal Coty Composer
Erik Hellerman overdub engineer
Chuck Jones Composer
Jerry Salley Composer
Clarke Schleicher Engineer
Dean Miller Composer
Bill Tyler Art Direction
Mark Nesler Composer
Jason Sellers Composer
Annie Tate Composer
Sam Tate Composer
Dale Dodson Composer
Georgia Middleman Composer
Kevin Fowler Composer
Jimmy Ritchey Composer, Producer, Tic Tac, Audio Production
Jimmy Melton Composer
Tony Martin Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great Country Music

    This album is outstanding...there only may be one or two cuts that truly don't belong, but this one is what has been playing in my MP3 player recently. Most of these have that hard core country shuffle feel, with cheatin' and drinkin'. Mark has done a terrific job and I hope he sticks with this forumla and people will notice. He also has one of the best sounding voices in country music today.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews