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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: Trampled by Turtles leads stellar night – The animals ruled, for the most part, led by Trampled by Turtles, in a superb trifecta of music long on musicianship and quality songs. Trampled by Turtles, who headlined the sterling bill that also included Elephant Revival and Hurray for the Riff Raff (not animalistic unless the "riff raff" act that way), are going through some major sonic changes.... »»»
Concert Review: Goodnight, Texas gets on the map – Goodnight, Texas is a town with a small population - 28 according to the band's web site. So, if anything is going to put the unincorporated dot on the map, it may be the bi-coastal country band that stole the name. Avi Vinocur, who dwells in San Francisco, and Patrick Dyer Wolf, of North Carolina, are the mainstays of the band with them... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

Trampled by Turtles get wild Trampled By Turtles is an indie folk group, an alt.-country band or a bluegrass act - depending on how you choose to look at them. Perhaps it's best to view the outfit as the ultimate combo platter consisting of just about everything that's good about American music. They play wonderfully, yet they also write intelligent songs that draw everyone from Townes Van Zandt to Nirvana to Ralph Stanley. It's all good, and some (or all) of these influences can be spotted in most of Trampled By Turtles' enjoyable sounds.... »»»
Don't try labeling Parker Millsap If you move in alt.-country/Americana circles, you simply cannot get away from the name Parker Millsap. He's certainly one of the biggest buzz artists of 2014. Better still, his self-titled album lives up to all the hype. He's a smart songwriter and a passionate singer and is essential listening for anybody looking for high quality contemporary music. Millsap also creates music appealing to a wide variety of musical tastes. You can make a case that he's a country guy, but you can also hear a lot of blues and folk. And if you attempt to put a label on him, he'll quickly tear it right off.... »»»
Simpson gets metamodern What a difference a year can make. Last year, Sturgill Simpson was overly anxious about the arrival of his debut album, "High Top Mountain." This year, Simpson is simultaneously anticipating the birth of his debut child and his just-released sophomore album, "Metamodern Sounds in Country Music," and his mood couldn't be more relaxed and joyous.... »»»
Three Bells
It must be frustrating to resophonic artists of the stature of these three that even they still have to on occasion answer the question "What is that thing you're playing?" The number of well-known Dobro players has always seemed to lag behind even the banjo, and even in the "Golden Years" of '50s and '60s country music, the only widely known names were Josh Graves and Pete "Brother Oswald" Kirby. »»»
The Earls of Leicester
In 1946, Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs were integral parts of Bill Monroe's Blue Grass Boys when they recorded a series of singles that most historians of the music consider the "birth of bluegrass" as we know it. Upon leaving to form their own band, The Foggy Mountain Boys (much to Monroe's consternation), they spent most of the 1950s recording one landmark single after another. »»»
Where It's At CD review - Where It's At
Dustin Lynch is a throwback on his sophomore release thanks to the good-looking Tennessee native sporting a straw cowboy hat, Now that's something you don't see these days unless you happen to be King George Strait. Instead, the hat acts of yesteryear - the moniker, in reality, was a dig at those who were part of the same milk toast country sounds that were being put out in the '90s - traded them in for baseball caps. »»»
I Don't Dance CD review - I Don't Dance
The cover of "I Don't Dance" features a glam shot of Lee Brice standing in a spotlight, looking more like a pop artist than a country singer. Listeners who prefer their country on the gritty side might be scared off by the pretty cover shot. The music matches the image: pop influenced mainstream country music, in the vein of contemporaries Jake Owen and Kip Moore.  »»»
Angels Among Us Hymns & Gospel Favorites CD review - Angels Among Us Hymns & Gospel Favorites
The threads of faith and family are intrinsically woven throughout the fibers of country music, but the results of such albums are not always successful, with some records feeling dry and inspired while others take the bull by the horns and really engage the material. Alabama's latest offering, "Angels Among Us: Hymns & Gospel Favorites," falls into the latter category. »»»