The 9513 Last.fm Chart Update (5-17-09)

Sam Gazdziak | May 19th, 2009

One thing to keep in mind when looking at Last.fm charts and statistics is that the listener base tends to skew indie. According to the site, the most popular artists in the U.S. tagged as “country” are: Neko Case, Ryan Adams, The Avett Brothers, Nickel Creek, Old Crow Medicine Show, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Carrie Underwood, Ryan Adams & The Cardinals and Jimmy Buffett. Not exactly your average country radio playlist, there. Of course, Swift has more than 220,000 listeners, while OCMS has 80,000, so you can see why “White Horse” was a Top 5 hit instead of “Caroline.” Still, it’s nice to see both the mainstream and the underground artists with their fair share of fans. Also, it kind of makes you wonder what would have happened if country radio had embraced Neko Case back when she was covering Ernest Tubb songs.

As for our The 9513 group, Sugarland (21 listeners) returns to their Number One spot in the Top Artists charts. Behind them with 19 listeners is Martina McBride and Miranda Lambert, and the semi-retired Garth Brooks came in third with 18 listeners. In the log-jam of people with 17 listeners who round out the Top 10, we see everyone from Willie Nelson to Patty Loveless to Dierks Bentley show up. I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that Dale Watson is ranked higher on the charts than Rascal Flatts, 12 listeners to 11. The alt side of country music appears to be growing in this group.

The Top Albums chart is very… blonde. And female. There’s a three-way tie for the top album, with Love On The Inside and Enjoy The Ride by Sugarland (which realistically is 75% blond female and 25% Wilco-nonappreciating guitar-strumming brunette male) along with Fearless by Taylor Swift. After them come the Dixie Chicks‘ (2/3 blonde) Home and Carrie Underwood’s Carnival Ride with 11 listeners. The Chicks also put Taking The Long Way Home into the Top 10, as did Sugarland with Twice The Speed Of Life. At least Ashton Shepherd (brunette) and Alan Jackson (guy) broke up the monotony by having Top 10s with Sounds So Good and Good Time, respectively.

Hayes Carll‘s Trouble In Mind lurked just outside the Top 10 albums, but “She Left Me For Jesus” was #1 on the top tracks along with Sugarland’s “It Happens” and Swift’s “You Belong With Me,” all of which had 7 listeners. (Incidentally, those three titles when put together would make for part of a really interesting conversation.) Those people who bought Steve Earle‘s Townes album put “Colorado Girl” into the Top 10 Tracks with 6 listeners, and four more tracks from that album were part of the 26-way tie for 10th place. (That’s something you don’t see on the Billboard charts.) Another song in that group is Holly Williams‘ “Mama.” Forget for a moment that she’s a part of that Williams family – Bocephus’ daughter, to be exact. It’s a good song and is available for free right now over at Amazon. Go download it.

Speaking earlier of Wilco, they’ve always been a band that’s taken good care of their fans by offering free songs and streaming albums well in advance of their release. And given their connection to Uncle Tupelo and their earlier alt-country work, I think I can mention on a country music site that they’ve got a free song out. Well, sorta free. Having recorded two stellar albums of Woody Guthrie songs with Billy Bragg, the band went back to the Guthrie catalog and recorded “The Jolly Banker.” If you’re able to pay for the song, they’re asking you to pay $2 minimum, with all proceeds going to the Woody Guthrie Foundation and Archives. If you don’t have the resources to pay for it now, you can get it for free anyway and promise to pay when times are better. Either way, you can get the song here: http://beta.wilcoworld.net/guthrie/

  1. Ryan
    May 19, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    I absolutely love these chart updates. Thanks for taking the time to do them.

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