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Hunt, Bryan lead charts

Thursday, April 2, 2015 – Luke Bryan and Sam Hunt top the Billboard albums and songs chart respectively for the week ending April 11.

Bryan led the albums chart with "Spring Break...Checkin' Out." Hunt was second with "Montevallo." "Nashville: On the Record, Volume 2" from the TV show debuted in third, one ahead of another debut "2015 Academy of Country Music Awards ZinePak." Jason Aldean rounded out the top five with "Old Boots, New Dirt."

Little Big Town is a big mover with "Pain Killer" jumping from 15 to 7. Canaan Smith debuted at 16 with his self-titled EP. The duo Striking Matches debuted at 25 with "Nothing But the Silence."

On the songs chart, Zac Brown Band was second with "Homegrown." "Girl Crush" from Little Big Town shot up from 17 to 3 in the wake of controversy about whether the song is about lesbians (it is not). Cole Swindell was fourth with "Ain't Worth the Whiskey," one ahead of Chris Young's "Lonely Eyes." Tyler Farr broke into the top 10 with "A Guy Walks Into a Bar" at 9, up 2. A Thousand Horses scored its first top 10 with "Smoke" at 10, up 2.

Billy Currington's "Don't It" was 12th, up 3. Florida Georgia Line's latest single, "Sippin' On Fire," was up 4 to 14. Eric Paslay's "She Don't Love You" moved from 19 to 15. Carrie Underwood was at 17 with "Little Toy Guns," up 5. Tim McGraw was 21st with "Diamond Rings And Old Barstools," a song with Catherine Dunn. Smith was 20th with "Love You Like That," up 6. Granger Smith broke into the top 25 with "Backroad Song."

Punch Brothers again led the Bluegrass Albums chart with "Phosphorescent Blues." Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn were one back with their self-titled debut together. Robert Earl Keen was third with "Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions. "Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow" was fourth with The Earls of Leicester's self-titled debut fifth.

On the overall top 200, Hunt was 13th, Bryan 24th, Nashville 31st, Little Big Town 36th, Florida Georgia Line 37th and Church 48th with "The Outsiders." The country and top 200 charts use different criteria.

More news for Luke Bryan

CD reviews for Luke Bryan

Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer CD review - Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer
Luke Bryan has been in that "hardware" phase of his career for the last few years. There have been several armloads of awards, many on the strength of the high-caliber singles from 2013's "Crash My Party." It might present a challenge to stay grounded. But Bryan has kept himself busy with work for charities (he's embarking on a traditional tour of farms to benefit his scholarship fund), and the use of the EP - this marks his eighth. Many artists use the EP format »»»
Kill the Lights CD review - Kill the Lights
When Luke Bryan announces, "I've got that music for your ear" during the single "Kick the Dust Up," listeners should know right off this is not a collection of sounds for every ear. It's targeted toward the young and reckless set instead, where consequences don't seem to matter. There's no better example of this loose approach than the revenge sex expressed through a duet with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild on "Home Alone Tonight," where »»»
Spring Break...Checkin Out CD review - Spring Break...Checkin Out
The funky keyboard line that introduces the song "Checkin' Out," with its Ray Charles soulful feel, fills the listener with false promise that "Spring Break...Checkin' Out," the latest and last in Luke Bryan's spring break EP series, might mark a more innovative direction in the bro country star's music. The song even includes a wonderful acoustic guitar solo that gives it a loose, freewheeling feel. Unfortunately, this singer is far too aware of which side »»»
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: Kristofferson gives insight, but no easy answers – When they say music gets better with age, they're not always just talking about songs alone; sometimes they're also referring to the listener. When Kris Kristofferson sings, "Well, I woke up Sunday morning/With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt," to smartly open "Sunday Mornin' Comin' Down," he... »»»
Concert Review: No sugarcoating, Welch dishes out an experience – Gillian Welch (accompanied, as always, by master guitarist David Rawlings), celebrated her "The Harrow & The Harvest" album with a powerful night of music. She apologized many times for the utter unhappiness expressed through this album's songs, admitting it's "not the most chipper album" at one point.... »»»
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