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McGraw, Brooks lead charts

Thursday, December 11, 2014 – Tim McGraw sits atop the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week ending Dec. 20 with "Shotgun Rider," while Garth Brooks is first on the Hot Country Albums chart with his CD "Man Against Machine." This is the 25th number one song for McGraw.

Carrie Underwood was second on the songs chart with "Something in the Water," her single from "Greatest Hits: Decade #1," which came out Tuesday. Duo Maddie & Tae stood in third with "Girl in a Country Song," one ahead of Brad Paisley and "Perfect Storm." Keith Urban rounded out the top five with "Somewhere in My Car."

Eric Church was up three to sixth with "Talladega." New artist RaeLynn's "God Made Girls" jumped 10 to the seven spot. Luke Bryan had an even bigger move. "I See You" went from 19 to 10 in its sixth week out.

Thomas Rhett was at 15, up 5, with "Make Me Wanna." "Mean to Me" from Brett Eldredge was at 17 this week, up 4. Jason Aldean's "Just Getting Started" was at 20, up 6. Blake Shelton's new single, "Lonely Tonight," featuring Ashley Monroe, also climbed 6 to be at 21. Chris Young closed out the top 25 with "Lonely Eyes," up 6.

On the Albums chart, Aldean was second with "Old Boots, New Dirt," one ahead of Darius Rucker's "Home for the Holidays." Florida Georgia Line was fourth with "Anything Goes" and George Strait fifth with "The Cowboy Rides Away: Live From AT&T Stadium." The compilation disc, "Christmas With Nashville," based on songs from artists in the TV show "Nashville" was at 8, up 12. Shelton was in ninth with his latest, "Bringing Back the Sunshine," up three.

Zac Brown Band was at 11 with "Greatest Hits So Far...," up 4. "Nashville Christmas" from various artists was up 7 to 14. Home Free's holiday disc, "Full of Cheer" was up 13 to 19. LeAnn Rimes' "One Christmas: Chapter 1 EP" was in 20th, up 22. Kentucky duo Sundy Best debuted at 22 with "Salvation City."

Bela Fleck & Abigail Washburn again topped the Bluegrass Albums chart with their self-titled disc. Keith and Kristyn Getty's "The Greengass Session" debuted in second. Alan Jackson was third with "The Bluegrass Album." Nickel Creek held fifth with "A Dotted Line." Daves Highway stood in sixth with "An Acoustic Christmas."

Brook was 8th on the overall top 200 disc, Aldean 20th, Rucker 25th, Florida Georgia Line 28th and Sam Hunt's "Montevallo" 36th. The Hot Country Albums chart and the top 200 use different measures for the albums.

More news for Tim McGraw

CD reviews for Tim McGraw

Damn Country Music CD review - Damn Country Music
Tim McGraw said of his 14th studio album, "Damn Country Music," "It's is all about passion, (taking him back to 1989) "when I came to Nashville to chase my dreams." Country music has richly rewarded him over the past two decades, and he honors the genre's tradition here. The album gets off to a very traditional start with Celtic folk. The flute and skillful acoustic picking on the opener "Here Tonight" bring a Mark Knopfler tune immediately to mind. »»»
Sundown Heaven Town CD review - Sundown Heaven Town
The banjo comes first out of the speakers, the opening strains of "Overrated," the lead-off song on Tim McGraw's latest. But with a "1-2-3-4" count, the mood changes and goes for a more modern country approach. McGraw does about the same on the follow-up "City Lights" with Michael Landau's steely, but rocking lead guitar taking over near the conclusion as it does later hard on "Sick of Me" where the protagonist contemplates a need to turn his life around. »»»
Two Lanes of Freedom CD review - Two Lanes of Freedom
Tim McGraw's debut on Big Machine, "Two Lanes Of Freedom" is his first record since the announcement that he gave up alcohol five years ago and the first since his acrimonious, litigious split from the only label he had ever known, Curb. The new CD literally and symbolically represents a fresh start. If only the material better reflected his new take on life. What is presented here is about as boiler plate as contemporary country gets. The album is a safe play and takes almost no chances. »»»
Editorial: Walking the talk – When names like Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Waylon and the Hag are invoked, you're talking hard core country. These are the touchstones of country , the guys who made country music what it was and still is (or maybe can be). When these folks would sing about being down-and-out and the rough-and-tumble, they knew of what they were singing about. Fast forward a few years to the country singers of today. »»»
Concert Review: Lots to like about McKenna (when you could hear her) – Lori McKenna had lots of reasons to be in a good mood. First off, the opening band, a pop act called teenender included two of her sons. In two days, her 11th disc, "The Tree" would be released to glowing reviews. So it would seem that this homecoming show was the ideal setting with all five kids, her husband, siblings, cousins, people who... »»»
Concert Review: With Sugarland, the wait was worth it – A few songs into Sugarland's show, Kristian Bush referenced the band's five-year gap between tours saying, "A lot of people think Jennifer and I have been on a five-year vacation. Actually, we've been very busy." Clearly a lot of that time was spent in rehearsal. The duo put on a two-hour high energy gem that started out big... »»»
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