Mark Chesnutt – “Rollin’ With The Flow”

Jim Malec | July 23rd, 2007

Mark Chesnutt Mark Chesnutt’s latest effort, his first single for Lofton Creek, is an apt cover of Charlie Rich’s 1977 #1 “Rollin’ With The Flow.”

Chesnutt handles the song’s uniquely fluid melody with ease, his undeniably distinct voice delivering a spot-on vocal performance.

The problem, however, is that Chesnutt’s take on this song holds so closely to the original that it comes off sounding dated and a bit campy; quite like something we’d expect to see on week nine of American Idol or Nashville Star–there is an odd air of disconnect between singer and song, and while the vocal proficiency is present, the production, as a whole, seems somehow forced, cramped and unimaginative.

There is no shortage of talent when it comes to Mark Chesnutt, and it’s a shame that he’s disappeared from country radio in recent years. This track, however, fails to leave the kind of impression needed to bring him back from the dead.

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Listen: Mark Chesnutt – “Rollin’ With The Flow”

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  1. [...] Chesnutt (Lofton Creek): I may be snarky, but when I'm wrong, I fess up. When I reviewed Chesnutt's cover of the Charlie Rich classic "Rollin' With The Flow," I said I didn't think it was the right song to help resurrect his career. Well, it tooks weeks [...]
  1. Brady Vercher
    July 23, 2007 at 9:27 pm

    Not withstanding that this is a replica of the original, I enjoyed this song quite a bit. Although, I did notice something odd about it and couldn’t quite place it until you mentioned the disconnect, which I think is spot on.

  2. mfrank_
    July 27, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    i don’t feel anything after listening to this. nothing. it leaves me…non-chalant. i would at least like to feel angry or pissed or turned-off. but this…leaves me nothing.

    which is worse than being mad.

    there’s no ‘there’ there.

  3. bullndogman
    August 6, 2007 at 11:13 am

    too bad the comments are negative. i remember what thing song was as the original version and it totally took me back. i disagree with all of you here. the production is fantastic and know one can deny the vocal ability of this man. i’ve never even listened to Mark Chestnut but this rendition has made me a fan. as a performing musician for over 30 years, it’s always hard to find that balance of covering a cover. do you cover it like it was originally done or add you own flare? only the artist can make that determination, not some record exec. or no name critic.

  4. Vgann
    August 13, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    ya’ll are crazy….he does an excellant job on this song!!!!

  5. KK
    August 25, 2007 at 12:03 am

    I think there is no question this song will be a hit. Mark Chesnutt has one of the best voices in country music & that would be on a short list. I can’t listen to this song enough – I think he did an incredible job. I think people that listen to country music are aching to hear a true country song from a true country artist. And suggesting that this is something you would hear on American Idol or Nashville Star is just ridiculous.

  6. Jim Malec
    August 25, 2007 at 11:07 am

    KK, I don’t make it a rule to disagree with our readers, but I think there is some question about whether or not this will be a hit, based, if nothing else, on the fact that this song enters the chart this week with 200 less spins than JoDee Messina’s “Biker Chick”.

  7. KK
    August 25, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Jim, Your right, There is question whether this will be a hit. I believe it will be. Time will tell. I don’t hear it the way you do, I guess. I think he did a fantastic job on this song. Your review, to me was way off.

  8. goalbuckit
    August 25, 2007 at 12:18 pm

    Man, I think it’s cool.I think it’s a great remake with a great sound. No matter where it goes on the charts.

  9. Natalie
    August 25, 2007 at 3:48 pm

    I have been a fan of Mark Chesnutt for years and was so looking forward to his new single. I feel like he is being “careful” not disconnected to show respect for Charlie Pride’s original. I enjoyed it very much.

  10. Natalie
    August 25, 2007 at 3:51 pm

    Sorry, Charlie Rich, not Charlie Pride.

  11. ann
    September 13, 2007 at 9:15 pm

    This song is starting to get a lot of play in the state of Texas. If you remember the Charlie Rich version then you know that the words are unforgettable and it was so nice to hear Mark Chesnutt’s version. This was always a great tune to dance to and will be this time around. It’s so nice to have a slow country tune to listen to while driving or at work. GREAT JOB MARK!!

  12. Todd Crum
    September 24, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    Mark , I worked the Stage Crew at The Great Frederick Fair. I heard you sing this song that night. Thankyou so much for re- recording this song . It is one of my favorites. You have done Charlie Rich proud. I’m sure he is pleased with your tribute to him. Thanks again. TODD

  13. Suzanne Sommer
    September 28, 2007 at 7:29 am

    As a young girl, I had a huge crush on Charlie Rich and now I play this re-make over and over and over at work and hell I’m 45 now. Love love loved it. Heard for first time on the way into downtown Dallas (yuk) and it made my drive more comfortable. Got to work, downloaded and have listed over and over again!

  14. Everett
    November 21, 2007 at 12:40 am

    My man Mark he is the real deal, It is to bad that he isn’t up on the charts but this is going to be a big hit for him. Real Cowboys like Mark Chesnutt! Nuff said, also you will never meet a better person (meet the fans sign auto graphs then Mark Chesnutt) Good Luck Mark and you picked an excellent tune to remake but kept it original.

  15. Matt
    November 21, 2007 at 6:23 am

    Everett, it’s cracked the Top 40 at country radio which is a good thing. If I remember correctly, this is only the 2nd time Lofton Creek’s had an artist inside the Top 40. The last one being Heartland and their one hit “I Loved Her First.” Here’s hoping they get to #1 with a stellar song by a great artist (whom I’ve met a couple of times).

  16. Sherry Sumic
    December 2, 2007 at 6:55 pm

    I disagree with the ratings. I found this remake to be comforting and enjoyable. As a child, I would hear the song in the background and my father would be singing to the song and it brought back great memories of the past. I guess this was a song my father could relate too. I hope it goes far. The lyrics are awesome,as I am an adult today, I can relate to it and appreciate what I’m truly feeling inside as I get older.

  17. Dr. Manuel Fuentes
    December 8, 2007 at 11:05 pm

    I totally disagree with the rating given to Mark Chesnutt regarding Rollin’ With The Flow. The psychological profound meaning of this song is awesome. I can sincerely relate to it and helps me find meaning to my feelings and emotions as I grow older!

  18. TAMMY
    December 11, 2007 at 9:05 am

    As soon as i heard this song i took me back to what country music is supposed to sound like. I know everyone likes the Kenny Chesney, Jason Alden etc. However if it were not for this style of country music , Kenny and Jason would never be. I am only 41 so its not an age thing. Its a true country music thing.

  19. Tim
    December 14, 2007 at 3:36 pm

    I can’t understand how anyone could not appreciate this re-make. This song is a classic and I believe Mark handled it with class and incredible vocals. [great job].

  20. Joan Gerkin
    December 17, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    Mark Chestnut has brought back a truly great country song with his version of “Rollin With The Flow”. Whoever thought it should have been made to sound different than the oringal is totally wrong. You do not mess with Classic Country Music!

  21. Robin
    December 17, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    When I heard this on the radio I was immediately taken back to one of my favorite songs… Mark does a fantastic job.

  22. Heffley
    December 22, 2007 at 8:36 pm

    I’m glad the majority of you are disagreeing with Jim. I have been friends with Mark for several years and his performance of this song is right up there with his #1′s so long ago. I know here in Houston this song has been highly requested on our country stations. Way to go Mark! Keep showing everybody what you love to do.

  23. hairandtoenails
    December 22, 2007 at 9:40 pm

    I’ve been a Chesnutt fan since the early 1990s, but “Rolling with the Flow” doesn’t excite me.

    I’ve heard Charlie Rich’s version so many times that I just cant get into Chesnutt’s (very similar) rendition. Chesnutt is just as great a singer as Charlie Rich, but the song is worn out for me.

    I think Chesnutt’s music has declined in quality since Mark Wright stopped producing. Mark Wright kept Chesnutt firmly rooted in traditional music but refreshing enough to get airplay and offer someting new. But now, Chesnutt’s music seems to be just traditional. As much as I love Mark, I don’t see him bringing anything to “Rolling with the Flow” that Charlie Rich didn’t bring. I’d like to see Chesnutt start innovating again.

  24. mike
    December 26, 2007 at 5:22 am

    The silver fox would be proud.

    Great job Chestnut!!!

  25. Juliette
    December 28, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    I have to step up and say that this song brings tears to my eyes, my step son passed away and this song is just how he was, am so pleased when I hear it on the radio, it brings back memories and nothing could be more pleasing to me and if Mark Chestnut were ever to grace my door I think I would show him a picture of my Tony and ask him to sing this song its totally heart fullfilling and I am so very glad he made the recording its awesome my hat is off to him, its great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. slacker kidd
    January 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    ok i love this song. because its who i am. im just rollin with the flow cuz like the song says, cant take it to your grave. so im not going to bust my ass working cuz the Lord promised he would take care of us who believe. and juliette, sry bout ur step son.


  27. mymymy
    January 2, 2008 at 5:08 pm

    If the “Lord promised he would take care of us who believe” he must be breaking a lot of promises. Sure is a lot of suffering among believers. Maybe he’ll take care of believers in an afterlife, but he sure is willing to put believers through a lot of misery in this life.

  28. Barbara
    January 3, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    I have all of Marks cd’s and I loved the song!!!
    Mark has a great way about him, I believe the song was done the way he wanted it to sound, so if you don’t like real country maybe you should listen to a one of those new up and coming kids.

  29. Jim Malec
    January 3, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    All of the comments seem to overlook the fact that I praised Mark’s vocal performance on this song. Hey, I’m not going to beat around the bush–I hold covers to an exceptionally high standard. I’m not asking an artist to cover the song in the exact style of the original, but I do think that there is an inherent responsibility to bring something new to the song, some added artistic impression that shows due respect to the previous artist. Otherwise, what is the point of covering the song in the first place?

  30. Unknown
    January 4, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    Jim, Im sorry that you feel that way about Marks latest song. I haven’t heard the Charlie Rich original and i dont care if i do. Marks version of this song that i have heard only twice is a great song! I think that Mark sings it greatly. This is the sound that has and will make country continue to be the #1 listened to form of music. We true country listeners dont want the “pop” or the “r&b” or the rock sound to anything. Its uncomprehendable to think that someone like Kid Rock could sing a song with Sheryl Crow about drugs and some 3 day loss ever making it to the top of the charts. Neither are country!!!! We miss the “country sound”! We’re sick of the Rascall Flatts and the Urbans. Mark has a true country hit and deserves to be recognized for bringing the “country” sound and feel back to this crap radio that im sick of hearing. His song is a breathe of fresh air!!!

  31. James
    January 13, 2008 at 9:15 am

    The song is great and I think he did a great job

  32. Mary
    January 13, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    This is a great song, and he sings with so much feeling. I love it!!!!

  33. Larry
    January 21, 2008 at 11:39 am

    There are some strange posts on this song…One dude would rather be pissed off than happy I guess…and to Jim Malec…ha ha…it is #25 this week on billboar country charts…took it awhile to get to the people…some songs get overlooked by the radio…I played a sample of it on the place I buy my music and bought it instantly…love it…

  34. Chris N.
    January 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    And as we all know, anything that does well at radio has to be great.

  35. cathy
    January 24, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    I totally agree with “Unknown”. This is what country music is all about. I’m tired of the same ole crap playing over and over again on the radio. I fell in love with this song all over again. Mark did an AWESOME job!!!

  36. Jeannie Dailey
    January 29, 2008 at 1:24 pm

    This is an excellent version of the song. If you are too young to appreciate Mark Chesnutts music then you need to not comment. Its comments like this that make true country fans doubt somes ability to decide what’s good.

  37. Terri
    February 15, 2008 at 9:20 am

    I absolutely love Mark’s version of this song….my radio wakes me up in the morning and this very morning this song was playing….i came alive instantly and was singin’ along…I LOVE IT…

  38. Terri
    February 15, 2008 at 9:28 am

    I want the ringtone….but US Cellular isn’t on the list!!!!!!!

  39. gunney
    February 25, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    great song,mark chestnutt could not have done a better job, song reminds my friends of my life so far.

  40. Sheila
    March 16, 2008 at 11:01 pm

    I agree with most of the comments on this song. I have been a fan for many years. He does a fantastic job of the song. People should get a copy of his CD called Heard it in a Love Song for more great Chesnutt music.

  41. LUANNE
    March 19, 2008 at 7:41 am

    I listen to this song over and over everyday and never will get tired of hearing it! I hope it goes to #1. I loved it when Charlie sang it and think Mark has done a remarkable job recording it.

  42. linedancer
    March 20, 2008 at 12:05 pm

    Loveeeeee this song, it has to become a # 1 hit for Mark, please D.J.’s keep playing this hit on the radio

  43. hairandtoenails
    March 20, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    Linedancer – the song has already fallen off the charts. I think it made it to the mid 20s, but that’s it. Hopefully there will be a new single soon that will take Mark back to the top 10.

  44. Boots
    March 25, 2008 at 7:06 am

    Great re-make, much better than the original.

    March 26, 2008 at 11:48 am

    I love this song.

  46. Rhonda
    April 2, 2008 at 11:41 am

    “Rolling With the Flow” was great with Charlie Rich and I Mark did a wonderful job with it. I’m just sad I can’t find it on sale anywhere.

  47. Mike Dickens
    April 3, 2008 at 3:16 am

    I heard this first on 99.5 ‘The Wolf over the internet whilst listening in Cyprus, and it was a ‘wow’ moment….Mark Chesnutt has made a great job, makes those little hairs on the back of the neck stand up….Well done sir !!

  48. Jan
    April 3, 2008 at 9:13 am

    I Love Mark Chestnutt’s remake of “Rollin with the Flow”! Where can I find the CD?

  49. hairandtoenails
    April 3, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Jan – the CD is scheduled to be released on April 29th, if I understand correctly. I believe, though, that iTunes has a digital single of “Rolling with the Flow” available for purchase now.

  50. Jan
    April 4, 2008 at 8:01 am


    Thanks so much for the info!


  51. Carol
    April 4, 2008 at 9:41 am

    I loved this then, I love this now! Mark does a beautiful job….we can only hope for more and more from this talented performer.

  52. albert
    April 6, 2008 at 12:00 am

    I think Mark did an excellent job!!! I wouldn’t change a thing. His version is as good if not better than the original. It brought back memories of my dad singning it when I was a kid. To change the delivery of if would have been an injustice to the song.

  53. Max
    April 11, 2008 at 9:54 am

    Sometimes, you find things in life that are perfect. There just is nothing that you can do to improve on. To me, Charlie Rich’s “Rolling With The Flow” is one of those things. I’m pretty sure that Mark Chesnutt probably looked at where he might improve on the original when he decided to re-record it. I mean, why wouldn’t he make the song his own if he could? To Mark’s credit, he was wise enough to recognize that the original could not be improved on. Any more, you hear too many artists destroying songs because they are intent on making them their own. Mark Chesnutt’s voice is a perfect match to this song and he does Charlie Rich’s perfect recording justice. This song may not appeal to younger listeners, I don’t know. I hope that they appriciate it for what it is. A timeless piece of music. However, it will be enourmously succesful with those of us who remember the original. It takes you back to a simpler time for all of us and that’s always going to play well with people. Great Job Mark Chesnutt for understanding that some things should never change!

  54. Barbra
    April 19, 2008 at 6:55 pm

    I love Mark Chesnutt!! I’m so glad he finally came back with a song. I think he did a great job on this remake. It was already a good song, I think he did it a lot of justice and made it a great song!! Looking forward to the next single release!!!

  55. KAREN
    April 30, 2008 at 8:59 am


  56. John M
    April 30, 2008 at 11:38 am

    Karen: I’m hearing that it has been pushed back to June 24. We’ll see if that date sticks. Regardless, it should be worth the wait.

  57. Matt B.
    April 30, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    They just released the “When You Love Her Like Crazy” single to iTunes and eMusic.

  58. Mo
    May 16, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    Rolling with the flow sung by Mark Chestnutt is awesome – he is a fantastic singer – He is like Alan Jackson never had a bad song! Kudos to this Texas singer – keep up the good work! I am a fan of yours.

  59. Rick McKay
    June 12, 2008 at 3:25 am

    I’m a country singer in the UK who never gave Mark Chesnutt enough credit until I got to see him perform live at Billy Bob’s in Texas. His whole attitude towards true “country music” whether it be an original or a cover was an inspiration to me. His vocal performance, that I’d always thought was so perfect it had to have been “studio enhanced”, was astounding. But, most of all what impressed me was the sincerity with which he delivered each and every word of every song. Country music is all about the emotional impact of the lyrics. It’s at the heart of it all whether that emotion be happy or sad. I honestly don’t believe that Mark Chesnutt went into the studio worrying about how this version of “Rollin’ with the flow” would stand up against Charlie Rich’s classic original. I lay money on the fact that he just loves the song, is a Charlie Rich fan himself, sang his heart out and did the best job he could of pouring everything into that song. That’s what I heard when I played the song. With all due respect to one of my all time heroes (Charlie Rich)this song belongs to Mark Chesnutt now. Don’t over analyse it. Just enjoy it. I hope it goes all the way and starts the ball rolling towards bringing a genuine “country” sound back just like Randy Travis helped to do in the 80′s. The music has become all about numbers and cash and radio has forgotten where the soul of country music lies. The public will still buy good country music if they hear it, but radio only plays what the big label pay them to play. And I thought that was illegal.

  60. Carol
    June 27, 2008 at 6:18 am

    WHEN will we see this on the shelf to buy?

  61. leeann
    June 27, 2008 at 9:06 am

    Carol, it should be on the shelves now. I believe it was released on June 24? Who knows if it is though, Since Mark isn’t a big selling artist anymore. Amazon or a place like that is a good bet.

  62. Chris N.
    June 27, 2008 at 10:14 am

    Meet the new shelf:

  63. bill
    September 23, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    i feel lonely now that my wife has left for the second time, but when i listen to that sony it makes me smile and i kept on rollin with the flow .

  64. casey
    February 7, 2009 at 8:14 pm

    I’m a 43 year old bachelor and I can’t think of a song that describes me more than this!

  65. john j
    April 24, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    just heared it today and knew it was MC. I like his voice and his cover was perfect / classic / GREAT!

  66. donna
    January 14, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    I think your comment is out of line. It sounds great and he did a perfect job on it. Love his music and he has a great voice. Hope he makes a comeback as he is missed

    April 29, 2010 at 6:18 pm


  68. Roy East
    January 10, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I loved this song and wrote my first Partner Dance to go with it in 1991. Which had some success here in the UK!


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