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Simpson, Bentley lead charts

Tuesday, April 26, 2016 – Sturgill Simpson's major label debut, "Sailor's Guide to Earth," topped the Billboard Top Country Albums chart for the week ending May 7. Dierks Bentley once again is first on the Hot Country Songs chart with "Somewhere on a Beach."

Tim McGraw remains second on the songs chart with "Humble and Kind." Chris Young's duet with Cassadee Pope, "Think of You," is third, one ahead of Old Dominion's second hit single, "Snapback," up three. Thomas Rhett stayed fifth with "Die a Happy Man."

Rhett also climbed three to ninth with "T-Shirt." Jon Pardi's latest single, "Head Over Boots," moved up 4 to 14. Jason Aldean's "Lights Come On" was at 19, up 3. Keith Urban was one behind with "Wasted Time," up six. Chris Lane saw "Fix" moved from 25 to 21. Jake Owen's "American Country Love Song" was up 6 to 22. Dan + Shay reached the top 25 with "From the Ground Up" at 24, up 2. Carrie Underwood closed out the top 25 with her new single, "Church Bells," up 7.

On the albums chart, Chris Stapleton was second with "Traveller," after being first last week. Joey + Rory were third with "Hymns," one ahead of Rhett's "Tangled Up." Sam Hunt was fifth with "Montevallo." Marie Osmond debuted in10th with "Music is Medicine," 1 ahead of Blake Shelton's "Reloaded 20 #1 Hits," which was up 4.

Wheeler Walker Jr. debuted at 14 with "Redneck Shit." Florida Georgia Line's "Anything Goes" was 20th, up 3. Lane debuted at 23 with his "Fix EP."

On the bluegrass chart, the "Bluegrass Gems" compilation was first, followed by The Del McCoury Band's "Del And Woody" debuting in second. Steve Marin and Edie Brickell were third with "So Familiar." Steep Canyon Rangers held fourth with "Radio." Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers moved from 10 to 5 with "Sacred Memories." Hackensaw Boys debuted in sixth with "Charismo."

On the overall top 200 chart, Simpson was 3rd, Stapleton 7th, Rhett 25th, Hunt 34th and Joey + Rory 38th. The top 200 and country charts use different criteria.

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CD reviews

Black CD review - Black
Dierks Bentley seems intent on expanding his musical boundaries, but he may have overreached too much in eschewing where he came from. That most evident by the dominating textured beats. Producer Ross Copperman and Bentley seem hell bent on injecting odd meters and sounds, sharp detours from past efforts. Unfortunately, the atmospheric beats muddy up the vocal delivery on "Freedom," a song that stretches far too long at almost four minutes. Bentley also channels U2 with its »»»
A Soldier's Guide to Earth CD review - A Soldier's Guide to Earth
If scratching your head about the sounds emanating from Sturgill Simpson's third release, then "It Ain't All Flowers" from his last release, the excellent "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," ought to serve as a reference point. In a disc filled with traditional country sounds, "Flowers" was about as far away as one could get with the electronics sounding so completely disjointed from everything else on the release. Put it this way - " Islands" »»»
Metamodern Sounds in Country Music CD review - Metamodern Sounds in Country Music
The first time you hear Sturgill sing you may feel like you've heard a ghost - the ghost of Waylon Jennings, that is. Although his voice isn't as low as Jennings' was, it's nevertheless still in the same general vocal range ballpark. Better still, the Kentucky native sings wonderfully honest country songs. "Life of Sin," for instance, is a song about, well, sinning, which is really some of what great country is all about. Yes, most of this album will do a »»»
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: Daniels wears out bows, but music endures – After each of the first few songs Charlie Daniels played, his 'fiddle tech (?)' exchanged his bow. Is this because he was playing particularly hard? Perhaps. Whatever the case, Daniels and his five-piece band clearly appeared to be giving it their all during the act's hour-and-a-half set. As it is the Christmas month, Daniels sang a... »»»
Concert Review: Rawlings easily moves out of the shadow – Every once in awhile David Rawlings moves out of the shadow of musical mate Gillian Welch to launch his own tour. While Welch, for whom Rawlings plays guitar, has the more prominent career, nights like this ably confirm that there is a reason does his own thing as well. Rawlings, who released the very fine "Poor David's Almanack" in... »»»
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