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Swift, Shelton again show the way

Thursday, March 7, 2013 – Blake Shelton topped the Billboard Country Songs chart with Sure Be Cool If You Did, while Taylor Swift led the Country Albums chart with "Red" for the week ending March 16.

Shelton and the rest of the top five remained in the same exact places as last week. That meant The Band Perry was second with Better Dig Two, Hunter Hayes third with Wanted, Tim McGraw fourth with One of Those Nights and Carrie Underwood fifth with Two Black Cadillacs.

Lady Antebellum went from ninth to sixth with Downtown, while Miranda Lambert jumped six to seventh with Mama's Broken Heart. Lee Brice was eighth, up three, with I Drive Your Truck. Florida Georgia Line have a hit on their hands with Get Your Shine On, now 10th, up 5.

Kenny Chesney jumped 5 to 14 with Pirate Flag. Darius Rucker was even a bigger mover with Wagon Wheel shifting up 8 to 16. Thompson Square is climbing with If I Didn't Have You now at 17, up 5.

McGraw also was 30th with help from Swift on Highway Don't Care.

Florida Georgia Line was second on the Country Albums chart with "Here's to the Good Times," switching places with McGraw's "Two Lanes of Freedom." Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell debuted in fourth with "Old Yellow Moon." Little Big Town held fifth with "Tornado." The Mavericks debuted at eight with "In Time."

Easton Corbin was at 32, up 5, with "All Over the Road." "Icon: George Strait" was 33rd, up 3. "Country: Charlie Daniels" was up 12 to 36. The Lacs were 1 behind, up 10. Lionel Richie's "Tuskegee" held the 40th spot, up 6.

On the Bluegrass Albums chart, Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out once again were first with "Timeless Hits From The Past: Bluegrassed." Old Crow Medicine Show were second with "Carry Me Back." The SteelDrivers were third with "Hammer Down." "Best of Bluegrass: Collector's Edition" by Steve Ivey was up five to fourth, one ahead of "The Goat Rodeo Sessions" from Yo-Yo Ma/Stuart Duncan/Edgar Meyer/Chris Thile.

On the overall top 200 chart, Swift was 14th, Florida Georgia Line 18th, McGraw 21st, Harris & Crowell 29th and Little Big Town 31st.

More news for Blake Shelton

CD reviews for Blake Shelton

Based on a True Story CD review - Based on a True Story
After Blake Shelton won his first CMA for Best Male Vocalist, he finally began to think he was one of the artists that would influence the direction of country music. If his latest release "Based on a True Story" is any indication, the genre is headed toward records featuring super catchy songs with homogenous themes. Every number has an infectious melody with lead single potential. The trade-off for the sonic pleasantry is a 12-song collection that is short on meaningful material, but long on fun. »»»
Cheers, It's Christmas
For his first Christmas album, Blake Shelton goes for the traditional approach. For a guy that can be a real loose cannon when appearing on The Voice, Blake sure comes off conservative throughout this 14-song collection. Most of these tracks feature full orchestrations, and it sure doesn't sound like any down home holiday celebration. Shelton is at his best, and country-ist, when joined by fellow Okie Reba during the western swinging Oklahoma Christmas. In fact, that classy red head even »»»
Red River Blue CD review - Red River Blue
With the right set of songs, Blake Shelton can sound really great. "Red River Blue" just might be that right set of songs because Shelton has never sounded better. There are moments on this set where Shelton goes country-soul, a la James Otto, most notably with Ready To Roll and Drink On It, and also places where that The Voice guy voices a few power ballads, such as on I'm Sorry. A big part of Shelton's appeal with viewers on The Voice is the way Shelton seems to think and »»»
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: 19 years later, Harris returns with "Wrecking Ball" – At one point, Emmylou Harris told the crowd that she could not believe it had been 19 years since she released "Wrecking Ball." That was most understandable because based on this concert tour devoted towards playing the left of center atmospheric disc, the song bird has hardly missed a beat. Harris' label, Nonesuch, just released a... »»»
Concert Review: Hurray for the Riff: more than just a great name – Hurray for the Riff Raff is one well-named group. Not that it signifies all that much musically, but at least it's catchy and makes you want to root for the underdog. With a lot to live up moniker wise, the band in concert - which, in reality, is lead singer Alynda Lee Segarra from New Orleans and her backing mates - more than lived up to the "pressure.... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Gerry House comes out (from behind the mic) For 25 years, Gerry House spent every weekday morning in people's living rooms. As the host of the much-loved and much-acclaimed morning show, Gerry House and the House Foundation, House reigned on the airwaves on Nashville's WSIX-FM from 1983-2010, taking a brief hiatus to work for WSM-AM in Nashville and for KLAC in Los Angeles.... »»»
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Carter Girl CD review - Carter Girl

It might have been easier, and certainly less emotionally taxing, had Carlene Carter just recorded a batch of Carter Family songs using vocal muscle memory alone. However, as soon as you hear Carter describing the losses of loved ones during "Lonesome Valley," you realize right away this is not just some sort of capitalization on a revered family name. It's a personal testimony. »»»

Turn It Up CD review - Turn It Up
Josh Thompson's sophomore release, "Turn It Up" is his first on Toby Keith's Show Dog label. It seems to be a good match because both artists are cut from the same cloth. Thompson is also known as a champion of the everyman. Turns out they both have the same tendency to go over the top. Thompson excessively showcases the blue collar lifestyle the way Keith champions patriotism. »»»
High Noon CD review - High Noon
Jerrod Niemann's new "High Noon" album is better than the annoying single, "Drink to That All Night," might lead you to believe. Fortunately, the album is not completely a Luke Bryan sound-alike. Even so, there are moments where Niemann sometimes sounds a little too much like his musical contemporaries. »»»
Out Among the Stars CD review - Out Among the Stars
One would think that with all the archival music, reissues and postmortem tributes released on Johnny Cash's behalf, the vaults would have been scraped pretty clean by now, with only scraps left for dedicated completists to feast upon. So it comes as no small surprise to find that the Cash archivists actually uncovered some entire sessions that haven't been unearthed until now. »»»
Summer Number Seventeen CD review - Summer Number Seventeen
Quick, what guy compiled 40 number one country singles, recorded with everybody from Ray Charles to Elvis, but has yet to be enshrined in the Country Music Hall of Fame? Yes, it's Ronnie Milsap, now in his 70s, just like Merle Haggard (who was inducted 20 years ago). Clearly, the ornery outlaws get more attention than the nice guy romantics. And it doesn't help that Milsap has always been interested in many different flavors of music »»»