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Shelton, Bryan remain atop Billboard charts

Thursday, March 21, 2013 – Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan both held onto the top spots of the Billboard Hot Country Songs and Albums charts respectively for the week ending March 30. Shelton reigns with Sure Be Cool If You Did, while Bryan led with "Spring Break...Here to Party."

Lady Antebellum's new single, Downtown, was second, up one, switching spots with Miranda Lambert's Mama's Broken Heart. Carrie Underwood held the fourth spot with Two Black Cadillacs. Darius Rucker jumped from 11 to 5 with Wagon Wheel. Lee Brice moved from nine to six with I Drive Your Truck. Kenny Chesney broke into the top 10 - at 10 - with Pirate Flag.

I Can Take It From There by Chris Young stood at 18 up 3. Tim McGraw's new single, Highway Don't Care, with Taylor Swift, jumped 7 to 19. The Band Perry debuted at 23 with DONE. Jason Aldean's 1994 was at 27, up 4.

Florida Georgia Line was second on the Country Albums chart with "Here's to the Good Times." Swift was third with "Red," Little Big Town fourth with "Tornado" and Tim McGraw fifth with "Two Lanes of Freedom." Eric Church went from 13 to 10 with "Chief."

Brice was 14th with "Hard 2 Love," up 3. Kip Moore was 16th with "Up All Night," moving up 4. Shooter Jennings debuted at 19 with "The Other Life." Jake Owen's "Barefoot Blue Jean Night" was 25, up 5. Scotty McCreery was at 36 with "Clear As Day," jumping 5. Blackberry Smoke went from 48 to 39 with "The Whippoorwill," while Love And Theft's self-titled disc was at 40, up 4.

On the bluegrass albums chart, Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman debuted in first with "Deep Roots." Russell Moore & IIIrd Tyme Out" were second with "Timeless Hits From the Past: Bluegrassed." Old Crow Medicine Show were third with "Carry Me Back." Old Man Markley fell from first to fourth with "Down Side Up." The SteelDrivers were fifth with "Hammer Down."

On the overall top 200, Bryan was third after being first last week. Florida Georgia Line was 14th, Swift 22nd, Little Big Town 36th and McGraw 37th.

More news for Luke Bryan

CD reviews for Luke Bryan

Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer CD review - Farm Tour...Here's to the Farmer
Luke Bryan has been in that "hardware" phase of his career for the last few years. There have been several armloads of awards, many on the strength of the high-caliber singles from 2013's "Crash My Party." It might present a challenge to stay grounded. But Bryan has kept himself busy with work for charities (he's embarking on a traditional tour of farms to benefit his scholarship fund), and the use of the EP - this marks his eighth. Many artists use the EP format »»»
Kill the Lights CD review - Kill the Lights
When Luke Bryan announces, "I've got that music for your ear" during the single "Kick the Dust Up," listeners should know right off this is not a collection of sounds for every ear. It's targeted toward the young and reckless set instead, where consequences don't seem to matter. There's no better example of this loose approach than the revenge sex expressed through a duet with Little Big Town's Karen Fairchild on "Home Alone Tonight," where »»»
Spring Break...Checkin Out CD review - Spring Break...Checkin Out
The funky keyboard line that introduces the song "Checkin' Out," with its Ray Charles soulful feel, fills the listener with false promise that "Spring Break...Checkin' Out," the latest and last in Luke Bryan's spring break EP series, might mark a more innovative direction in the bro country star's music. The song even includes a wonderful acoustic guitar solo that gives it a loose, freewheeling feel. Unfortunately, this singer is far too aware of which side »»»
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: Avett Brothers come home – For the 30th anniversary of the "Traditional Plus" MerleFest music festival, there might not be a more appropriate act to anchor the opening night than the Avett Brothers. Born of a desire to bring rock 'n' roll energy to traditional music and formed by devotees to Doc Watson, The Avetts may have outgrown their acoustic roots over... »»»
Concert Review: Turnpike Troubadours leave no doubt – Turnpike Troubadours have not released an album since mid-September 2015. Don't look for any new release hitting the streets any day now either. The last time the Oklahoma-based band played Boston, they were in a pretty, 1,200-seat theatre. So, one could have been outwardly skeptical about the band when it downsized to a venue on the outskirts... »»»
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Currently at the CST blogs

The Avett Brothers come home to MerleFest For The Avett Brothers, MerleFest is a coming home of sorts. This year's edition of the MerleFest "traditional-plus" music festival in Wilkesboro, N.C., the event's 30th anniversary, a milestone sure to be marked by many different special appearances and commemorations during the festival's four-day run, is no exception.... »»»
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.... »»»
The Devil Makes Three examine salvation, sin For nearly a decade and a half, The Devil Makes Three has concocted an amazing blend of bluegrass, folk, country, blues, rockabilly and whatever happens to bubble to the surface, and applied it liberally to their songwriting ethic.... »»»
The Harmed Brothers CD review - The Harmed Brothers
Let's put it succinctly. The Harmed Brothers may be the best band no one has ever heard of. Well, maybe that's an exaggeration. They do have their ardent admirers, so let's not discount their following entirely. Still, for those who are unaware, the band's new eponymous effort ought to make it clear that this is a group with a wealth of resources at their command. »»»
West Coast Town CD review - West Coast Town
Chris Shiflett is best known as a guitarist in Foo Fighters, but he's also has some authentic traditional country in his bones. Inspired, in part, by much of the fine vintage country music created in California, "West Coast Town" lets Shiflett show off his country music skills. »»»
Something's Going On CD review - Something's Going On
Trace Adkins' wonderful low singing voice can be a little deceptive because he could easily sing utter crap and still somehow sound great. It's why the critical ear must pay close attention to specifically what he's saying in his songs whenever evaluating his work. Adkins doesn't write his own songs, so he's entirely dependent upon stellar writers.  »»»
Patriots & Poets CD review - Patriots & Poets
From time to time an album comes along with exactly the right message and meaning at exactly the right time - "Patriots & Poets" is one of those albums. Dailey and Vincent initially set out to create a project full of songs they had written independently, together and with close friends. While succeeding mightily in that regard, they also created a beautiful love letter to America and her people... »»»
WildHorse CD review - WildHorse
Someone needs to inform karma that Raelynn is not getting what she deserves. It takes a lot of work to mess this equation up: national TV exposure (from "The Voice"), a monster hit (2014's "God Made Girls") and famous friends who've practically adopted you (like Blake Shelton). This is all atop her twangy Texan charm and very capable singer/songwriter chops. »»»
Way Out West CD review - Way Out West
Marty Stuart's "Way Out West" is, in part, his tribute to the music of California. The title cut gets straight to the point with a psychedelic journey song, which is as much a warning against drug abuse as it is a physical trip to the golden state. "Time Don't Wait" alludes to much of the garage rock that came out of California '60s, and more specifically points back to The Byrds' heyday with its glorious jangling Rickenbacker guitar part.  »»»