With early-'90s barroom memoirs both funny ("Bubba Shot the Jukebox") and not so funny ("Too Cold at Home"), Mark Chesnutt was one of the last in the George Jones line of Beaumont-bred, bona fide honky-tonkers to find real major-label success. Chesnutt's dad was actually one of Jones's running buddies, and Mark led the house band at Golden Triangle saloon Cutter's for years before Nashville tapped him on the shoulder. He never even moved to Music City, and these days Chesnutt maintains an active career on the regional dancehall circuit with occasional stopovers at ritzier joints like Dosey Doe. Produced by longtime Dwight Yoakam right arm Pete Anderson, his latest album, last month's Outlaws, honors the previous generation of do-it-our-own-way troubadours: Willie ("Bloody Mary Morning"), Waylon ("Only Daddy That'll Walk the Line"), Kris Kristofferson ("Sunday Morning Coming Down"), Hank Jr. ("Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound") and Billy Joe Shaver ("Black Rose"), among others. Pick of the litter, though, is an arresting duet with Houston-based Amber Digby on '70s country-rockers Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's Shel Silverstein-penned ballad "A Couple More Years."
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