Most country music today does not remain true to its country roots. There is more “pop” than “country.” There are exceptions to the rule, George Jones and Alan Jackson are two of the major stars on the country scene who are keeping the country in country music. Another country singer who is very country and also keeping the honky-tonk sound in country music is Mark Chesnutt.

Chesnutt was taken on trips to Nashville when he was 17 by his father Bob. It was from the elder Chesnutt Mark learned to play and love music.

By the early 1980s Chesnutt was a regular in clubs around the Beaumont area such as the Blue Heron in Nederland and Yvonne’s in Beaumont. Later he became the house band at Cutters, one of the most popular clubs in Beaumont. It was at Cutters where he would later sign a major recording contract.

Chesnutt is known as one of country’s hardest working performers and has maintained a hefty tour schedule since 1990. He spends time on the road but still manages to spend quality time with his family, something he learned from his dad.

His first album was released in 1988 and since that time Chesnutt has made Billboard magazine’s list of the 10 most played radio artists of the 1990’s, had 30 singles on Billboard’s Hot Country Songs Chart and had eight number one singles.

Chesnutt’s newest album “Outlaw” pays tribute to Texas country artists like Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and songwriters such as Guy Clark. The album is honky-tonk and country, true to the roots of country. Listening to the album you have the sense that you are back in a smoky dark beer joint of the 1950s.

“I only record when I have something to say,” says Chesnutt. “Outlaw” says a lot.

Chesnutt will be in Oklahoma, July 23, then head south Saturday, July 24, to be onstage at the Texas Longhorn. His concert will start at 10 p.m., following a 40-head bull riding buck off in the outdoor arena.

“I like that people listen to my music on the radio, but for me the real thrill is being in front of an audience. As I am singing, I feel that I am with friends,” says Chesnutt.

“We have a great night of entertainment planned for Saturday night,” says Rodeo Director Coleman Peveto. “Starting at 8 p.m. we will recognize some of our best known old-time cowboys, one who is a member of the Texas Rodeo Cowboy Hall of Fame. We have some of the best looking Longhorn cattle in the area and will use them to re-enact a cattle drive with some of our area working cowboys. After the bull buck off the show will start in the club with a concert by Mark Chesnutt. It is a night you will not want to miss.”