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Bentley, Stapleton lead charts

Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – Dierks Bentley stayed atop the Hot Country Songs chart with "Somewhere on a Beach" for the week ending May 14 with Chris Stapleton's "Traveller" back at number 1 on the Top Country Albums chart.

Sturgill Simpson fell to second on the albums chart with "A Sailor's Guide to Earth." Joey + Rory" were third with "Hymns." Sam Hunt was fourth with "Montevallo" and Luke Bryan fifth with "Kill the Lights."

Eric Church moved three places to sixth with "Mr. Misunderstood." Comedian Wheeler Walker Jr. was at 11 with the bawdy "Redneck Shit," up 3. Florida Georgia Lined jumped from 20 to 12 with "Anything Goes." Zac Brown Band was at 14, up 11, with "Jekyll + Hyde." Cam jumped 10 to 19 with "Untamed." Vince Gills' Down to My Last Bad Habit" stood at 21, up 9. Brantley Gilbert was at 24 with "Just As I Am," up 4.

"Think of You," Chris Young's duet with Cassadee Pope, was second on the songs chart, switching spots with Tim McGraw's "Humble And Kind." Old Dominion was fourth with "Snapback." Blake Shelton's "Came Here to Forget" was fifth.

Maren Morris jumped from 12 to 8 with "My Church." Dustin Lynch was at 10 with "Mind Reader," up 3. Church's latest single, "Record Year," climbed 4 to 15. Carrie Underwood jumped from 25 to 19 with "Church Bells." Frankie Ballard entered the top 25 with "It All Started With a Beer" at 23, up 3. David Nail's "Night's On Fire" was at 24 with Kelsea Ballerini's "Peter Pan" at 25. Both were up three spots as well.

On the Bluegrass Albums chart, the Del McCoury Band topped the chart with "Del and Woody." The Willis Clan was second, up five, with "Chapter Two - Boots." Hackensaw Boys were third with "Charismo," one ahead of Irish band We Banjo 3's "Live in Galway." Steve Martin and Edie Brickell held fifth with "So Familiar."

On the Billboard Top 200, Stapleton was 9th, Hunt 26th, Thomas Rhett 29th, Simpson 31st and Bryan 33rd. The country and overall charts use different criteria.

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CD reviews

From A Room: Volume 2 CD review - From A Room: Volume 2
There is no bigger artist in country music today, perhaps even in American music, than Chris Stapleton. His appeal reaches beyond just the commercial country fans for his gritty bluesy approach. 2015's "Traveller" set a high bar, which was met by this year's release of "From A Room: Volume 1," which won Album of the Year in the 51st CMA Awards. Stapleton also garnered the Male Vocalist of the Year for his second time. Now seven months after that release, "From »»»
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 »»»
Traveller CD review - Traveller
Chris Stapleton is one of those artists you've heard without ever realizing it. That's because of his acclaim as a songwriter with such hits as Luke Bryan's "Drink a Beer," Josh Turner's "Your Man," Darius Rucker's "Come Back Song" and Kenny Chesney's "Never Wanted Nothing More." He also had a successful stint as lead singer of the driving bluegrass band The SteelDrivers (Adele recorded one of their songs, which he co-wrote as »»»
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: Womack planned a good night – Lee Ann Womack pretty much summed up where she's at these days in concluding her show with Don Williams "Lord I Hope This Day Is Good." The ever-strong voiced country traditionalist sang, "I don't need fortune and I don't need fame" with the concluding line of the stanza asking the Man upstairs to "plan a good day for me.... »»»
Concert Review: Cantrell continues to satisfy – Laura Cantrell may never be a country star. Not at this stage of her career when she's 50, touring here and there and releasing new music every few years or so. But five albums in, Cantrell continues as a warm, enjoyable and worthy purveyor of her brand of country. That would mean going towards a more traditional side, not rushing the songs... »»»
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