Through six seasons on the TV drama, “Nashville,” Charles Esten embodied the tormented, true, and talented artist, Deacon Claybourne. What made “Nashville” such a unique phenomenon, even beyond the Robert Altman big screen adaptation, was its commitment that those portraying musicians on-screen would, in fact, be musicians, and the same applied to Charles Esten. The actor, along with the other cast, toured and recorded regularly as part of the “Nashville on the Road” adventures that crossed the US and overseas during the series run. The CDs released in conjunction with each season became another vehicle for promoting the city and the authentic musical talents of the drama’s cast.

Faithful fans proved their devotion to “Nashville” by refusing to let their favorite characters and storylines end “up in the air” after ABC's abrupt decision to cancel the fan-favorite show from its lineup after Season 4, and they put their money where it counted. Petitions mounted on ultimately brought Lionsgate and the producers to CMT, which made seasons 5 and 6 a reality. As dismayed as millions were to see the TV “Nashville” come to a close last month, it was a great comfort to see the music and the main characters all coming to the kind of satisfying future that fans knew they deserved, with Charles Esten as Deacon Claybourne, performing one of the most pivotal anthems of the show, “A Life That’s Good,” as the whole cast filled the stage at the finish.

This actor is very much still a working musician, never leaving his love of song, and he also has a thrilling new TNT drama in his future.

Always another song

Just hours ago, today, August 19, Charles Esten posted a re-Tweet in honor of Nashville on social media, noting that Nashville is “the place that makes your heart race.” The star also is the featured guest for a UK radio segment on Express FM today, and just played a gig in Denver last night.

Esten turns 53 next month but seems to be in the finest creative form ever. He has scheduled dates in September at Austin City Limits per his website. He assuredly will drop-in at the Grand Ole Opry and other haunts of Music City, which he still calls home with his wife and children.

Just to verify the vigor in the man’s creative pace, Charles Esten set a Guinness World Record for “Most Consecutive Weeks to Release an Original Digital Single by a Music Act” last month, as reported July 25 by CMT.

The personal benchmark was part of the actor and musician’s #EverySingleFriday pledge, and Esten either wrote or co-wrote each of the 54 songs released each Friday. His digital music catalog has 7.9 million streams worldwide.

Thriller in the offing

While Charles Esten delights in keeping his guitar strings tuned and his vocal cords primed, the actor has no intentions of letting his versatility as an actor diminish in the least. TVLine reported last month that Esten has joined the cast of the new TNT thriller, “Tell Me Your Secrets,” very different from his former stint doing improvisations on “Whose Line Is It Anyway.”

Esten will portray Saul Barlow, husband to Mary, portrayed by “Private Practice” star Amy Brenneman, as the couple struggles to cope with the crisis of their missing daughter.

Mary is relentless in seeking to find their daughter, while Saul turns more inward for peace, giving up materialism and markers of status.

The role seems to be quite a departure from Deacon Claybourne, yet still leaves plenty of room for Charles Esten to display his dramatic chops, in between writing songs, of course.