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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

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. »»»
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 »»»
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: Church works it from the outside – Eric Church starts his excellent new release, "The Outsiders," with the spoken words "They're the in-crowd, we're the other ones." And that's true in more ways than one for Church's new tour, which also features much praised, up-and-coming songwriter Brandy Clark and veteran honky tonker Dwight Yoakam.... »»»
Concert Review: For Doug Seegers, no pinching needed – Doug Seegers probably should be pinching himself these days. He's not some country music cover boy or hunk wearing a baseball hat or highlighting a bunch of tattoos. If looking for opposites of what passes for a country musician these days, Seegers would probably just about be the top pick. Yes, he lives in Nashville, but he just retired after... »»»
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Elsewhere in the news

Currently at the CST blogs

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Anything Goes CD review - Anything Goes
The title of Florida Georgia's second full length is accurate. For the duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelly, that means girls, girls and more girls plus an ultra dose of partying. That is evident from the refrain of the title track, which, of course, focuses on Friday night activities. "I brought the songs and you brought the party/Only one way to do it up right..."  »»»
Old Boots, New Dirt CD review - Old Boots, New Dirt
Arguing whether or not Jason Aldean's kinda (country) party is, in fact, anything remotely related to true country music is pointless. Aldean is so entrenched in the mainstream country marketplace now, we just need to accept him as he is, the same way we reluctantly accept Taylor Swift as "country." It's mighty tempting to subtitle a review of Aldean's new "Old Boots, New Dirt" release as 'Pickup Trucks & Pickup Lines," »»»
Going Down to the River
You have to feel a pang of pride when you hear the story of Doug Seegers. In fact, it's not a stretch to say you could have seen him live and didn't even know it. At 62, he's a guy who basically opened his guitar case and played the street corners of Nashville, New York, Austin and probably most every city he's traveled through. Seegers also is now the darling of Sweden's country music crowd... »»»
I'm the Troubadour CD review - I'm the Troubadour
Hal Ketchum has rarely ventured out of traditional country realms, and for good reason. With 10 previous albums to his credit, a career that stretches back nearly 30 years, and no less than 17 singles on the country charts - and a half dozen of those reaching well into the Top Ten -- his country credentials are exceedingly well established. »»»
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. »»»