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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: The Cadillac Three, Sellers do it their own way – The way The Cadillac Three lead singer Jaren Johnston told it, the band could have had their choice of opening tours this year for the likes of Kenny Chesney, Dierks Bentley and Jake Owen. No go though because the long-haired singer fronting the rough-and-most-definitely ready trio said the band wanted to do it their own way. Based on this most... »»»
Concert Review: Folk Alliance binds past, present and future – Glance back 50 years and the idea of a folk music festival would bring to mind a gathering dominated by tie-dye, Birkenstocks and people who might otherwise find work as stunt doubles for Peter, Paul and Mary. In a sense, that's still the perception for those unawares, but at the 29th Folk Alliance International conference there was far more of a... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Gibson Brothers rise up from "In the Ground" There's no more solid live bluegrass show than the Gibson Brothers. They play with great technical skill and crispness. Their harmonies are just what a brother act should be: sweet, true and never forced. Brothers Leigh and Eric Gibson surround themselves with outstanding sidemen with impeccable bluegrass cred: Jesse Brock (mandolin), Mike Barber (bass) and Clayton Campbell on fiddle.... »»»
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Vaquero CD review - Vaquero
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Graveyard Whistle CD review - Graveyard Whistle
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Freedom Highay CD review - Freedom Highay
Rhiannon Gidden's "Freedom Highway" takes an expansive look at the Black experience in America. "Better Get It Right the First Time" utilizes a gospel-y call and response format to tell the tragic story of a Black life that mattered. However, Giddens goes all the way back to slavery days for the lyrics to "At the Purchaser's Option." »»»
Notes of Blue CD review - Notes of Blue
Son Volt's "Notes of Blue" is said to be influenced by the blues (among other musical styles), and the blues is most at the fore during "Cherokee St.," a stomping, electric guitar-driven blues rocker. The song has the stripped-down sound of a Blind Willie Johnson sermon, although lead vocalist Jay Farrar is by no means the gravelly singer Johnson was. »»»
In the Ground CD review - In the Ground
The family band is a longstanding conceit of bluegrass and mountain music, including the Carters, the Osbornes, the McReynolds, the Whites, The Stanleys and even the progenitors of bluegrass Bill and Charlie Monroe. The trope continues to the present with The Gibson Brothers carrying on this tradition admirably. »»»
Brett Young CD review - Brett Young
Brett Young had a hit out of the box with "Sleep Without You," as ear candy of a song. His soulful vocals carry the percolating song that seemed designed with airplay in mind. If Young were a band, this is the type of song that Rascal Flatts might cover. In fact, the airplay bent could be said of most of the dozen songs on the Californian's major label debut after five indie releases. »»»