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Chesney, Urban stay first on charts

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 – Kenny Chesney led the Billboard Country Albums chart for the week ending Nov. 26 with "Cosmic Hallelujah." Keith Urban continues atop the Hot Country Songs chart with "Blue Ain't Your Color."

Chris Stapleton was second on the albums chart with "Traveller." Urban held third with "Ripcord. Eric Church's "Mr. Misunderstood: On the Rocks, Live And (Mostly) Unplugged" EP debuted in fourth. The "NOW That's What I Call Country #1's" compilation debuted in fifth.

Florida Georgia Line climbed from 11 to 6 with "Dig Your Roots." "CMA Awards 50 ZinePak" from various artists was up from 14 to 9. Chris Young jumped from 24 to 12 with "It Must Be Christmas." "Strait for the Holidays" from George Strait shot up from 36 to 14. Aaron Lewis was at 15 with "Sinner," up 8. Rascal Flatts also moved up 8 spots, to 18, with "The Greatest Gift of All," its holiday collection. Tim McGraw jumped from 29 to 20 with "Damn Country Music."

Kelsea Ballerini was at 22 with "The First Time," up 3. Reba McEntire was 23rd with "My Kind of Christmas," up 9.

On the songs chart, Florida Georgia Line was second with "May We All," which features McGraw. Cole Swindell was third with "Middle of a Memory," one ahead of Kenny Chesney's "Setting the World on Fire," featuring P!nk. Brett Young was up three to fifth with "Sleep Without You."

Granger Smith made it into the top 25 with "If the Boot Fits," which was up 2 to 24.

Bradley Walker led the Bluegrass Albums chart again with "Call Me Old-fashioned." Dwight Yoakam stayed second with "Swimmin' Pools, Movie Stars..." Nitty Gritty Dirt Band held third with "Circlin' Back: Celebrating 50 Years, Live at the Ryman Auditorium, TN." Greensky Bluegrass went from eighth to fourth with "Shouted, Written Down & Quoted." Mandolin Orange was fifth with "Blindfaller."

Stapleton led the Folk/Americana chart. The late Leonard Cohen was second with "You Want It Darker." Jim James of My Morning Jacket was third with "Eternally Even." The Lumineers were fourth with "Cleopatra" and Bon Iver fifth with "22, A Million."

On the overall top 200 chart, Chesney fell from 2nd to 10th. Stapleton was 16th, Urban 20th, Florida Georgia Line 27th and Thomas Rhett 38th with "Tangled Up." The top 200 and country charts use different criteria.

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CD reviews

Songs for the Saints CD review - Songs for the Saints
Kenny Chesney's "Song for the Saints" is a step in the right direction for the popular country star. Inspired by the Hurricane Irma disaster, which hit Chesney personally as it destroyed a house he owned in the U.S. Virgin Islands, these songs are more serious and heartfelt than typical Chesney music. Best of all is "Love for Love City," a reggae duet with Ziggy Marley incorporating steel drums into an inviting island mix. It's followed by a cover of Lord »»»
Graffiti U CD review - Graffiti U
It's telling how two songs on Keith Urban's "Graffiti U" album chug along to a reggae beat because pop rhythms and non-country elements are the obvious inspirations for this collection. Opener "Coming Home" may borrow (steal?) a guitar riff from Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," but this is where that country road begins and ends. Urban follows "Coming Home" with "Never Comin' Down," which is introduced with a funky bass line »»»
Live in No Shoes Nation: 10 Years of Concerts CD review - Live in No Shoes Nation: 10 Years of Concerts
Kenny Chesney's "Live in No Shoes Nation" accurately recreates an experience of seeing the diminutive party animal live. Chesney has found an extremely lucrative niche as country music's Jimmy Buffett (although much of Buffett's island-y pop music appeals to many of today's non-discerning country music listeners). Also, with songs like "Pirate Flag," Chesney has even borrowed a few of Buffett's sea-related lyrical themes. This live CD could have been »»»
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: With or without band, Isbell satisfies – Usually, when an artist performs without his regular backing band, it becomes about mathematics of subtraction. That artist is armed with far fewer artistic weapons at his/her disposal, after all. In Jason Isbell's case, though, when he performed with just his wife and fiddler Amanda Shires, it was more about substitution than subtraction.... »»»
Concert Review: Grammy nominations aside, Yola, Kiah are the real deal – Grammy nominations do not make the artist, but Yola and opener Amythyst Kiah underscored time and again on this night that the honors were well deserved. In fact, Yola and Kiah's other group, Our Native Daughters, are nominated in the same category - Best American Roots. Yola has three other nominations as well. The clear winners... »»»
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