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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

Here and Now CD review - Here and Now
For many years now, Kenny Chesney has been the number one yacht country artist; one never spotted far from an ocean or without an adult beverage in his hand. However, this album's title track expresses a much deeper perspective on life. "I must've sat on a dozen islands/Watched the sun sink into the sea." Previously, island living was the reason for life. Now, life's purpose is described as much more internal than external. Call it trading that pirate flag for a little more mindfulness. »»»
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 »»»
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: The Lil Smokies provide the perfect antidote – On a night when the world to be falling further apart thanks to coronavirus (this would be the night the NBA postponed the season), there stood The Lil Smokies to at least in some small measure save the day. The quintet is part of a generation of musicians with bluegrass as the basis, but not totally the sum of the music either.... »»»
Concert Review: White makes the case for himself, no matter how dark the music – John Paul White opined with a glint in his eyes that his songs were not of the uplifting variety. In fact, they were downright dark. How else to explain "The Long Way" with the line "long way home back to you." Or "James," a song inspired by his grandfather who suffered from dementia. But lest you think that the Alabama... »»»
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