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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

If I'm Honest CD review - If I'm Honest
Blake Shelton makes it abundantly clear that this is not going to be a light-hearted listen, despite his public demeanor. "I have never recorded a more personal or reflective album in my career," Shelton wrote on the cover insert. He said the 15-song release "touches both the highs and low of past year of my life." And that would first and foremost include his very public split with Miranda Lambert, which happened quickly and suddenly. Shelton forlornly looks back at a »»»
Bringing Back the Sunshine CD review - Bringing Back the Sunshine
It's impossible to get away from the fact that one's perception of Blake Shelton's music has changed significantly since he began his role as a judge on The Voice. His music hasn't been altered all that much after he became a TV star, but we now know him as the affable, yet extremely competitive, judge on the popular NBC singing show. His likeability simply makes us more likely to enjoy his music a little more, and with "Bringing Back the Sunshine," Shelton has »»»
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. »»»
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: Ex-Brooklyn girl MIchaela Anne makes good – Brooklyn may not exactly have been enough of a hotbed of country music for Michaela Anne. Thus, about 1- years ago, she packed up her belongings with her husband (and drummer) Aaron Shafer-Haiss and headed for Nashville. Except, they headed to East Nashville more precisely where the rep is that the cooler country cats are hanging.... »»»
Concert Review: Hard Working Americans more than live up to moniker – Hard Working Americans is a generic enough sounding term, conveying that you're part of the lunch bucket crowd. Part of a faceless pack instead of an individual. In reality, it's something of a misnomer for the sextet of the same name heretofore considered a side project. That's because they or in most cases, their other... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Reams leaps into "Rhyme & Season" James Reams is one of bluegrass music's unconventional stalwarts. A son of Kentucky, Reams' journey has taken any number of unusual pathways since the mid-seventies. Producing albums for more than 20 years, Reams' ninth release of personable bluegrass, "Rhyme and Season," is a relaunch for Reams, an artist who has never followed a singular route. ... »»»
Solivan  turns to family, friends, heroes After scoring a 2015 IBMA nomination for Best Bluegrass Album for "Cold Spell," Frank Solivan tried something a little different this time around - an album of songs recorded by "Family, Friends and Heroes" (Compass). In an earlier musical life, Solivan served as stalwart in Country Current, the Navy's touring bluegrass band. Solivan left the service and formed Dirty Kitchen, a hat-tip to his background and continuing efforts as a chef.... »»»
Sellers garages her country Aubrie Sellers just may be onto something on her debut - garage country. After all, we've already witnessed traditional country, new country, neo-traditional, country rock, pop country and bro country. Sellers, a 25-year-old Nashvillian with a big time musical pedigree who released her debut, "New City Blues," in January, said the moniker came to mind as her bio was being written.... »»»
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 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. »»»
If I'm Honest CD review - If I'm Honest
Blake Shelton makes it abundantly clear that this is not going to be a light-hearted listen, despite his public demeanor. "I have never recorded a more personal or reflective album in my career," Shelton wrote on the cover insert. He said the 15-song release "touches both the highs and low of past year of my life."  »»»
Couchville Sessions CD review - Couchville Sessions
For those who remain unaware of Darrell Scott, "The Couchville Sessions" is an ideal starting place. Long one of "rock, folk, country (and) blues" (to misquote the lead track, "Down to the River") most esteemed sidemen (Robert Plant's Band of Joy, Guy Clark, Steve Earle), collaborators (Tim O'Brien) and songwriters ("Long Time Gone," "You'll Never Leave Harlan Alive"), Scott has been making outstanding Americana albums... »»»
Playing With Fire CD review - Playing With Fire
If you happened to hear Jennifer Nettles' debut solo record, "That Girl," you may have come away thinking that she was a frustrated torch singer. That effort was chock full of emotive ballads, which, while heartfelt, sure was missing a certain element of F-U-N. Problem solved. From the opening sustain of gospel organ, Nettles storms out of the gate in a sensational tour-de-force.  »»»
Circle Round the Signs CD review - Circle Round the Signs
Credit the new wave of populist nu-folk/newgrass talent and troubadours for having made a profound impression on today's Americana legions. Bands like The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers and Mumford & Sons have influenced any number of artists that have followed in their wake, mostly banjo-thumping, rhythm-ready ensembles ... »»»