Cody Chesnutt (the “TT”‘s his idea) comes from Atlanta and brings a large amount of peach and preach along with him. A former member of The Crosswalk, he decided that lo-tech was the incoming thing and recorded this sprawling, old-fashioned double album in his bedroom studio, Sonic Promiseland. Cody, a mic and a four-track produced what he calls a “musical diary”, one intended for intimate relations with phones.
Cody comes across like a character in a Tom Wolfe novel. Deeply religious but fiercely ambitious, he is, in the words of his own song, a “Brother With An Ego” who is given to such evangelical outbursts as “God’s truth in music is the sole power by which we are transfixed, transformed and unified. It’s because of this divine authority that we are sustained in our newly accomplished unity.”
His God-fearing tendencies have won him an American fan club that includes The Strokes, Macy Gray, Saul Williams, Res and The Roots, who have recorded his song “The Seed” on their Phrenology CD. ChesnuTT certainly moves in mysterious ways his wonders to perform. Lyrically he’s apt to favour the twin powers of pussy and philosophy on “My Women, My Guitars”. He rants against corporate greed and consumerism during “Boylife In America” and ridicules the deification of Adidas on “Serve This Royalty”.
But one-man-band experiences like Cody’s are rare these days, and his musical accomplishments carry his conceits along for the most part. Imagine a contemporary version of Shuggie Otis and a large slice of soul bro style