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Blackberry Smoke, Hunt lead Billboard

Thursday, February 19, 2015 – Blackberry Smoke scored its first number one on the Billboard Top Country Albums with "Holding All the Roses" for the week ending Feb. 28. Blackberry Smoke knocked out Sam Hunt, who fell to second with "Montevallo." But it was not all bad for Hunt as he was first on the Hot Country Songs chart again with "Take Your Time."

On the albums chart, Jason Aldean was third with "Old Boots, New Dirt." Florida Georgia Line was fourth with "Anything Goes." Miranda Lambert was fifth with "Platinum." Robert Earl Keen debuted in 10th with "Happy Prisoner: The Bluegrass Sessions," his first ever bluegrass album.

Tim McGraw was up 4 to 17 with "Sundown Heaven Town." Brandy Clark was at 24 with "12 Stories," up 5. She performed at the Grammys, usually a boost for sales.

Thomas Rhett was second on the songs chart, up two, with "Make Me Wanna." Luke Bryan was third with "I See You." Florida Georgia Line's "Sun Daze" was fourth, and Blake Shelton stayed fifth with "Lonely Tonight" where he gets a little help from Ashley Monroe.

Brett Eldredge moved four spots to sixth with "Mean To Me." Randy Houser broke into the top 10 with "Like a Cowboy" in ninth, up two. Cole Swindell rounded out the top 10 with "Ain't Worth the Whiskey," up 2.

Miranda Lambert jumped 10 to 14 with "Little Red Wagon," the song she sang at the Grammys.

A Thousand Horses scored its first top 25 with "Smoke" at 22, up 4. Eric Paslay made it into the top 25 - at 25 - with "She Don't Love You," up 3.

On the Bluegrass Albums chart, Keen debuted in first. "Ralph Stanley & Friends: Man of Constant Sorrow" was second. Punch Brothers was third with " The Phosphorescent Blues." A compilation disc, "Bluegrass Gospel," was fourth with The Earls of Leicester self-titled debut fifth.

On the overall top 200, Hunt was 18th, Blackberry Smoke 29th, Aldean 30th, Carrie Underwood 35th with "Greatest Hits: Decade #1" and Bryan 37th with "Crash My Party." The top 200 order is different than the Top Country Albums chart because of differing methodology.

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CD reviews for Blackberry Smoke

Live From Capricorn Sound Studios CD review - Live From Capricorn Sound Studios
Blackberry Smoke's covers EP is not a tribute to just one group. Rather, it's a celebration of one particular recording studio, Capricorn Sound Studios in Macon, Ga., instead. Blackberry Smoke has become one of the best modern Southern rock revivalists, so it follows logically that the group would salute the studio home and city to many of its primary artistic inspirations where some of the songs were originally recorded. This six-song release includes a couple of The Allman »»»
The Southern Ground Sessions CD review - The Southern Ground Sessions
Blackberry Smoke's "The Southern Ground Sessions" EP is five versions of songs from the band's recent "Find a Light" album, along with a cover of Tom Petty's "You Got Lucky," which also features vocalist/violinist Amanda Shires. The project takes its name from the Southern Ground studio in Nashville, and this band, which can ramp up its music to Southern rock power - especially in concert - takes a few moments to quiet things down. »»»
Find a Light CD review - Find a Light
Blackberry Smoke will never fit the mold of a mainstream country act the way, say, Midland has done. They love to rock way too much to ever tamp it down permanently. And the aptly named "The Crooked Kind" follows a rollicking, rock & roll path that feels like just the right road. With that said, though, there are moments during "Find A Light" where Blackberry Smoke softens the sonic nicely and naturally. "Medicate My Mind," for instance, rocks to a likeable, gentle groove. »»»