Every #1 Country Single of the Nineties: Mark Chesnutt, “Blame it On Texas”

“Blame it On Texas”

Mark Chesnutt

Written by Ronnie Rogers and Mark Wright

Radio & Records

#1 (1 week)

May 24, 1991

Mark Chesnutt’s second No. 1 single is among his less memorable hits.

The Road to No. 1

After his debut single, “Too Cold at Home”, went top five, “Brother Jukebox” became Mark Chesnutt’s first No. 1 single earlier in 1991.  He repeated that success with his third MCA radio release.

The No. 1

Texans and New Yorkers have one thing in common: a bravado about where they’re from that make it difficult for any place they go afterward to measure up.

Neil Diamond made a whole thing about it with “I Am…I Said.”

Mark Chesnutt did the same with “Blame it On Texas,” but he left out the homesickness and the memorable lyrics.

Part of the issue is just that Chesnutt isn’t fully acclimated to studio recording yet.  “Blame it On Texas” could’ve compensated for its lyrical shortcomings with an energetic performance, but Chesnutt isn’t yet the recording artist he’d develop into by his next album.

It’s better than “God Blessed Texas,” at least.  But the Lone Star state has been far better immortalized in song than this.

The Road From No. 1

Mark Chesnutt has another No. 1 single on the way from Too Cold at Home.  Stay tuned.

“Blame it On Texas” gets a C.

Every No. 1 Single of the Nineties

Previous: Diamond Rio, “Meet in the Middle” | Next: Joe Diffie, “If the Devil Danced (in Empty Pockets)”

4 Comments

  1. I’d give this a C+ but otherwise agree with KJC’s assessment. I’ve heard Mark do this song live and his deliver had improved considerable in the year following the record’s release

  2. Agree. Nanci Griffith “Lone Star State of Mind” this is not, but a fun song nonetheless!

  3. Despite recording a classic country song, and now logging his second number one hit from his debut album, Chesnutt felt like a second-rate hat-act in his early years. Somewhat reserved performances like this betrayed the influence George Strait held over these young performers. Strait’s laconic ease and comfort with a lyric was not easy to recreate. Many 90’s acts would try.

    So there is Chesnutt trying to play it cool like George Strait while simultaneously being unable seem to keep pace with Black and Brooks.

    An unenviable position he would soon correct as he settled into his own identity as he doubled down on tradition and a hard country sound.

    I honestly forgot this song was a single, much less a number one hit.

  4. Yeah, this isn’t one of the most memorable songs from my childhood, and it never made it on to any of my tapes, but it’s still a pretty fun song with some nice fiddle work. It’s one I’d really enjoy on a road trip or cruisin’ with the windows down. I also like it better than some of the other ditties Chesnutt would record on later albums.

    I agree with general consensus that his overall quality in material and performances would improve greatly with the next album. That said, I still enjoy his debut album, along with the other singles from this album very much.

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