LIVE: Cody Chestnutt, CMJ

Photos from our Interview with Cody Chestnutt, video coming soon!

The focus at the CMJ Music Marathon favors new and emerging talent. Yet, every so often, a luminary from years past returns and reminds everyone of the excitement they first ignited when they first step on the scene. The oft forgotten Cody Chestnutt took on that title during an intimate set at the CMJ Union. Gracing the stage in a blue helmet and his guitar, Chestnutt reminded us of the stripped down, truthful soul that won us over on The Headphone Masterpiece

Gracious from the start, Chestnutt invited the small crowd closer and invited them to participate in the music. Previewing tracks from the upcoming release Landing On A Hundred, the 30 minute set was filled with songs that showed off a deeper introspection. The first song ‘Till I Met Thee’ referenced a new sense of clarity and understanding that Chestnutt has discovered in his absence. The maturity was evident in his next song ‘That’s Still Momma’, a song he said was inspired after witnessing his nephew’s disrespect of his mother. Each song had his trademark raspy tenor intoning his words with raw emotion. 

Asking for the crowd to be his rhythm section with snaps, Chestnutt then moved to an examination of society with ‘What Kind of Cool?’. He then referenced his 18 year marriage and shouted out all the married couples with ‘Love Is More Than A Wedding Day.’ Going over the difficulties in his own relationship, it was definitely a celebration of the journey. He closed with the peaceful ‘Everybody’s Brother’, which was so appropriate. Truly, Chestnutt has grown into an artist everyone can draw something from. The music draws you in and his messages are very much needed. It’s nice to have him back.