The New And Improved Last.fm + Chart Update
Welcome to The 9513’s chart update, now with twice the charts. We’re trying a couple new things to give a slightly broader reach of what’s going on in the country chart world, so let me know if you like the changes. The focus of this feature will continue to be The 9513’s Last.fm charts, however, as our listeners are the crème de la crème among music fans.
Last.fm Top Artists
The fact that George Strait (26 listeners) is our top artist has long since become an accepted reality on this chart, but it’s nice to see some motion going on with the rest of the Top 10. Sugarland, which used to consistently be #1 or #2, is out of the Top 10 for the second week in a row. Instead, Dwight Yoakam and Lee Ann Womack tie for second with 24 listeners each, with Brad Paisley (22) and Alan Jackson and Trisha Yearwood (21) filling out the rest of the Top 5. Reba McEntire had 20 listeners, and the group of artists with 19 includes Patty Loveless, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks and Brooks & Dunn.
The top Americana artists on the chart this week are Ryan Adams (15), and Steve Earle and Old Crow Medicine Show (14). Way at the bottom of the list, with 3 listeners, are John Rich and Ozzy Osborne. I’m rather surprised those two haven’t shown up on the same reality show yet.
Last.fm Top Albums
We’ve finally got a week with no major releases, so nothing really jumped out of the box. Female artists dominate the Top 10, with six albums tied for the #1 spot with 13 listeners: Lee Ann Womack, Call Me Crazy; Carrie Underwood, Carnival Ride; Sugarland, Twice The Speed Of Life; Taylor Swift, Fearless; and Dixie Chicks, Wide Open Spaces and Fly.
One of the more surprising appearances is Holly Williams’ Here With Me, which has 10 listeners. The only guys in the Top 10 are Kristian Bush, Dierks Bentley with Long Trip Alone (10 listeners) and the two guys from Gloriana with their debut (10). It’s nice to see Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose keeping strong with 9 listeners and Justin Townes Earle’s The Good Life doing the same with 8. Miranda Lambert’s Revolution (presumably because of “Dead Flowers” and “White Liar”), and Tim McGraw’s Southern Voice had 7 and 6 listeners, respectively…which bodes well for when those albums are actually released.
Last.fm Top Tracks
How good is the Top 10 this week? Three of the 13 songs in the Top 10 are by Taylor Swift, and, in my opinion, it’s still one of the strongest charts we’ve ever seen. Lee Ann Womack’s “Last Call” returns to the top spot with 9 listeners, followed by her other single, “Solitary Thinkin,’” McEntire’s “Consider Me Gone,” Swift’s “Love Story” and Strait’s “Living For The Night” with 8. After that, the list of wonderful songs with 7 listeners includes “My Way To You” by Jamey Johnson, “Dead Flowers” by Lambert, “Sweet Emmylou” by Joey + Rory and “Love Hurts” by Gram Parsons. It’s about time he popped up on one of these charts.
The list of songs with 6 listeners isn’t too shabby either: Paisley’s “Welcome To The Future,” Neko Case’s “People Got A Lotta Nerve,” Lambert’s “White Liar” and “I Can’t Be Bothered,” and Holly Williams’ “Three Days In Bed.” It takes all those songs to balance out the fact that 6 people listened to “Love Your Love The Most” by Eric Church.
Billboard Country Singles
Last week’s Top 4 is exactly the same as this week, in order: Jason Aldean, “Big Green Tractor;” George Strait, “Living For The Night;” Justin Moore, “Small Town USA;” and Toby Keith, “American Ride.” Honestly, I don’t know how Strait got a Top 5 hit with a song that doesn’t include a list of random things put into a song, or a dorky reflection on the superiority of rural living.
Keith Urban moves into the Top 5 with “Only You Can Love Me This Way.” “Welcome To The Future” has officially become Paisley’s latest Top 10 single. “Cowboy Casanova” from Carrie Underwood was the big gainer of the week, moving from #26 to #18 after two weeks on the chart. Taylor Swift’s “Fifteen” moves up to 25 after three weeks, and Lambert’s “White Liar” moves from 44 to 40 after 4 weeks. Oh year, country radio has a lot of explaining to do. Tim McGraw had the biggest debut of the week, with “Southern Voice” entering the charts at 49.
Billboard Country Albums
Brooks & Dunn’s #1s… And Then Some debuted at #1 (and also made it to #5 on the Billboard 200 chart), so the duo’s swan song is off to a great start. It’s kind of nice to see that a couple of guys in their 50s can knock Swift back to #2 and the Hannah Montana soundtrack to #4 on the chart. Terri Clark was the other big debut with Long Way Home reaching to #62, though Zac Brown Band managed to hold down both the #3 spot and debut at #30 with The Foundation, the second entry representing the Cracker Barrel exclusive version, which adds a few live cover songs to make up for the fact that the chain was too chicken to sell a record including “Toes.”
Americana Music Charts
My favorite non-Last.fm charts of them all, the Americana chart is based on the total number of spins for all tracks on a given album. For instance, Delbert McClinton jumped to #1 from #3 with 388 spins, while Guy Clark’s Some Days The Song Writes You held at #2 with 364 spins. The Boxmasters’ Modbilly fell to #3 after two weeks in the top spot, with 339 spins (presumably none of them in Canada). Band Of Heathens made a big jump, with One Foot In The Ether climbing from #16 to #5, and Kieran Kane’s Somewhere Beyond The Roses moved from #13 to #7. John Fogerty had the biggest debut of the week, with The Blue Ridge Rangers Ride Again appearing at #24, and WPA—a supergroup with Sean and Sara Watkins of Nickel Creek, Glen Phillips of Toad The Wet Sprocket, Benmont Tench of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers to name a few–was the most added act with 14 adds.
Freebie of the Week
Every year, Austin’s SXSW offers more than a thousand free MP3s of the artists appearing at the conference, and every year I download and listen to every one. There’s a lot of duds, but every now and again I come across a gem by a band I’ve never heard of. In this case, the gem was “Miss Idaho” by OX, a Canadian group with a half-Americana, half-drunk vibe that totally works for me. It was from an album called American Lo-Fi, and the band has that song (and three others from the album) available for download on its web site. The band’s cover of Cheap Trick’s “Surrender” is pretty cool, as well.
- Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
- Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
- nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
- Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
- Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
- Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
- Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
- Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
- Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.