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The Return of Mark Chesnutt

With An Award Nominated Performance


“It’s a long way from East Texas to Minnesota!” – Mark Chesnutt


On March 15, 1996, a traditional country music entertainer named Mark Chesnutt took the stage at what was then called The Medina Ballroom located in the small Midwestern town of Medina, Minnesota.  With his presence, he entertained the crowd with such songs as “Brother Jukebox,” “Let It Rain” and the ever popular “Bubba Shot The Jukebox.”

It took nearly twenty-one years for Mark to return to this venue that is now called The Medina Entertainment Center.  For fans of real country music, the wait has been worth it!


In 2016, Mark released his latest album Tradition Lives.  The twelve cut plus bonus track album is overflowing with time-honored country music.  The kind of country music that real country fans are begging for in today’s modern world.  The emotionally rich album earned a nomination for the 2017 Spirit Award’s Album of The Year Award, while four of the songs (“Hot,” “Neither Did I,” “Never Been To Texas,” and “There Won’t Be Another Now”) earned nominations for the Song of The Year Award. 


On October 6, 2017, fans eagerly awaited the return of Mark Chesnutt to The Medina.  What fans did not know is that backstage – Mark was being presented with the 2017 Spirit Award for Album of The Year for his album Tradition Lives. Click Here to see the official presentation photo.


Shortly after the official presentation, Mark graced the audience with an award winning performance.  Chesnutt went on to entertain the audience with performance of some of his greatest hits as well as many of the songs from his award winning album.


“That’s why we recorded this album…” shares Mark on stage.  “…for the real honky tonk country music!”


Mark shared many stories about the new album, including the fact that the album was currently sold out!  He also shared stories about meeting and working with his hero, George Jones.  He then went on to perform an incredible tribute to Mr. Jones.  All through Mr. Chesnutt’s performance, fans were at the edge of their seats eager to hear more of the real country music that Mark maintains.


It is nice that in today’s country music world, there are entertainers like Mark Chesnutt to carry on the tradition of authentic country music that was set forth by legends like Mr. George Jones.  It is the genuine country music fans who are so hungry for this authenticity – let’s hope that it is not another twenty-one years before Mark returns to this little town in Minnesota.

Strictly Country Magazine Mark Chesnutt October 6, 2017 performance 

“The further you get away from Nashville, the better it [the music] gets!” shares Mark Chesnutt.


As Mark proudly walks off the stage, his heart is filled with joy.  He was welcomed with open arms and he gave this audience what they longed for.  Real music! Real Country Music!  He boards his tour bus and heads for another small venue in the middle of Wisconsin in hopes that this joy fills the hearts of all who were in attendance to hear him on this cold rainy night.  But, what Mark does not know is that these people – his people – left the venue filled with music.  Their hunger is no longer, for they know that real country music is still out there!

An award winning performance?  Yes!  Mark’s appearance on this night has earned him several nominations in the 23rd Annual Spirit Awards.  You can vote for Mark Chesnutt and others come December 10thright here at Strictly Country Magazine.

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Strictly Country Magazine Mark Chesnutt Tradition Lives Album

Click on image to purchase album

Tradition Lives

Mark Chesnutt


2016 - Row Entertainment.  Leave it up to Mark Chesnutt to bring us real country music.  Like the title states, this one is jammed pack full of twelve beautifully recorded time-honored country songs. The album opens with "I've Got A Quarter In My Pocket," a lively tune that sets the pace for what is about to come.  Mark continues with a hard core cheating song in "Is It Still Cheating."  Chesnutt changes it up a bit as he performs "Oughta Miss Me By Now" in a John Anderson mentality.  One of the things that is missing in today's country music is the sound of the steel guitar as it adds it's soulful call to a good country song.  Well, Mark brings that soul back in "Look At Me Now."  There are two sides of the story behind every break-up.  Chesnutt includes "What I Heard," a very well written song about one side of the story.  Mark adds his skill as a songwriter in "Never Been To Texas," as he pays tribute to the legends in country music.  This is the first of several songs on this album that will hit our list of Top Songs of 2016, while earning a nomination for the Spirit Award's Song of The Year Award.  Another song that will hit this list is "Neither Did I."  Performed in a slight comedic way, this one plays off the men are from Mars and woman are from Venus mentality. The final song that hits our list and earns a nomination is a simple song called "Hot."  This is a pleasant song that is performed with a gentle melody while the lyrics capture the essence of living in the sweltering heat of the south.  Mark includes a bonus track on this amusing and entertaining album.  As the story goes, Mark was sitting in the home of famed songwriter Jimmy Ritchey.  The two were talking about Merle Haggard and how much influence he had on them. They sat down and recorded a song written by the late great Red Lane, called "There Won't Be Another Now."  The song is a tribute to Merle as it is performed with just Jimmy on Guitar and Mark on vocals. This simple and elegant song speaks about the brief moments in our lives that we cherish. It too will be added to our list of Top Songs of 2016 while it earns a nomination.  In listening to this album, I have to think about the old joke - what do you get when you play a country music song backwards? Your wife, truck and dog back.  Well the only thing missing on this one is the dog... It just does not get any more country than this.  We are so impressed with Mark's ability to maintain that pure country feel without adding any of today's 'flavors,' that we have to pull this entire album and nominate it for the Spirit Award's Album of The Year Award.  This is a must have for any country music collection, as Mark Chesnutt keeps real country music alive! $$$$$+


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