Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Country Billboard Chart News September 4, 2014

Country Billboard Chart News September 4, 2014

In Brief:  Billboard Country Charts

Country Album Chart ** No.1 (1 week) ** “Moonshine In The Trunk” Brad Paisley
Hot Country Songs ** No.1 (6 weeks) ** “Burnin’ It Down” Jason Aldean
Country Airplay ** No.1 (1 week) ** “Bartender” Lady Antebellum
Country Digital Songs ** No.1 ** (6 weeks) ** “Burnin’ It Down” Jason Aldean

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Chart News

Brad Paisley landed his fifth #2 album as MOONSHINE IN THE TRUNK (Arista Nashville/Sony Music Nashville), entered The Billboard Top 200 Album Chart (BB200) in the runner-up slot selling 53,312 copies ((Digital sales account for 41%) which in some quarters was described as astellar first week”.
Paisley’s album was kept out of the top spot on The Billboard 200 by Ariana Grande's MY EVERYTHING, which debuted atop the chart with a solid, but still somewhat disappointing, sales tally of 169,222 copies.

The country superstar has yet to reach #1 on the Billboard 200. Paisley has amassed more #2 albums without a #1 than any other artist in chart history. Sheryl Crow, with four #2 albums, is in second place.
This is Paisley’s fourth consecutive studio album to debut (and presumably peak) at #2. It follows 2009’s American Saturday Night, 2011’s This Is Country Music and 2013’s Wheelhouse. Paisley first reached the runner-up slot with 2005’s Time Well Wasted.
“Moonshine” is Paisley’s ninth top 10 BB200 album. That puts him in a tie with Brooks & Dunn as the country act with the most top 10 albums without a #1. Brooks & Dunn amassed nine top 10 albums from 1993 to 2009. Their highest-charting album, Hillbilly Deluxe, reached #3 in September 2005.
His closest call to a BB200 No.1 came with the April 3, 2013 release of WHEELHOUSE. It missed the top slot by nearly 6,000 copies, denied by Rock band Paramore's self-titled album (100,441 versus 106,308 copies).

However “Moonshine” is his eighth consecutive studio album to reach #1 on Billboard Top Country Albums.
Lead single “River Bank” peaked at No.12 on the July 5 sales/airplay/streaming-based Hot Country Songs chart, while second single “Perfect Storm” re-enters the Sept.13 tally at No. 42.
All of the West Virginia native’s No.1 albums have debuted at the summit; however, this is his smallest first-week sum for a set of new songs since his second album, Part II, arrived at No. 3 with 38,000 on the June 16, 2001 chart.
MUD ON THE TIRES released July 22, 2003 debuted atop the country chart with 86,000 copies
He logged his biggest opening week when 5TH GEAR started with 197,368 (chart frame July 7, 2007).
THIS IS COUNTRY MUSIC, released May 23, 2011, opened with 152,598 sales and by November 2012 the Gold album had sold over 702, 000 units.

The cover of Paisley’s album shows the trunk of a car, with Paisley’s image barely visible as a reflection. This is the third time Paisley hasn’t appeared on the cover of one of his albums. Would these albums have sold better with a nice shot of the Country superstar and CMA host gracing the cover?
Triple Threat: Paisley took a different direction with his new 10th studio album album, Moonshine in the Trunk, with songs that explore the happier, positive sides of life. It is a definite departure from his previous effort, the sonically experimental, socially conscious Wheelhouse. “This time, I was less interested in breaking new ground and more interested in making the kind of record that my fans more than likely want me to make,” he told Country Weekly.

In this Washington Times Feature Brad said: “This is an album that I wrote, largely just about how I feel at the moment. And I feel very optimistic.” In a world where big-name musicians either preach or pander, Mr. Paisley is the outlier. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in this Aug. 26 release.

Critical reception for Brad Paisley’s “Moonshine in the Trunk”:
15 Tracks/ Time: 51:30 CD - MP3 - UK iTunes - Smart Choice Music - Amazon.com

AllMusic (3 STARS) ...on "Crushin' It," the opening track of his 2014 album Moonshine in the Trunk, a phrasing that suggests his dip in sales [Wheelhouse was Paisley's first record since Play not to go GOLD] lasted longer than a year -- which, in a way, it has. His sales started decreasing around the time of the open-hearted, far-ranging American Saturday Night, so perhaps it's no surprise that he's attempting to turn back the clock on Moonshine in the
Trunk, stripping back all his experimentations and declining every detour so he winds up with a record that could function as a de facto sequel to 2007's 5th Gear.... Moonshine in the Trunk is all gleaming steel, hard edges, sleek rhythms, and power ballads, state-of-the-art modern country that doesn't dare make a big deal of any of Paisley's eccentricities outside of his squealing guitar.... Most of all, he's savvy enough to know when to play it safe, which he does throughout Moonshine in the Trunk, turning out high-octane, highly enjoyable songs about trucks, water, speed, and making out with girls who don't realize they're beautiful enough to be a model. This is, for want of a better word, his wheelhouse, and while he may not be leaving his comfort zone here, Moonshine in the Trunk proves his strengths remain mighty potent.

Billboard (Track-by-Track Review by Deborah Evans Price)...This time around Paisley cranks up the fun and goes all out to entertain. He succeeds on every level from the clever songwriting to his signature tasty guitar licks and personality-packed vocals.Light on ballads and heavy on in-your-face, pedal-to-the-metal country music, Moonshine in the Trunk is classic, fun-loving Paisley

Pop Matters (Rating: 5/10) Actually, more than just asserting his countryness, Moonshine in the Trunk seems like an effort to re-assert his Paisley-ness, to get back to the sort of songs that first got him commercial attention....When he jokes at the start of the first song (“Crushin’ It”) that he hasn’t had a hit song in a while (“it’s been a long time since I hit one out of the park”), it’s hard to then not hear the entirety of Moonshine in the Trunk as an attempt to do just that. Or at least get some corporate endorsements—trucks, beer, college football, Chick-Fil-A—along the way.

For The Country Record The primary thing I take away from this, therefore, is that there was too much thought put into every aspect. The biggest problems are the production and the arrangement, something I did not expect going in, but it feels like everything has been thrown into the ring; huge collections of instruments each have their own significant part, and while
often things start sparse, sometimes it’s only a few seconds before everything is fighting to be heard. This clashing, chaotic approach clouds the beauty of Brad’s brilliant songwriting and performances, so those that may have shone are lost in the noise. Alongside this we have a tendency to use a lot of electronic edits that play with the instrumentation, the vocals and the overall feel, as the real instruments battle synths, odd rhythmic effects and a technique on Brad’s voice that make him sound like he’s coming through a cheap PA before he even gets to our speakers....So through this messy pit of things going on, wading through becomes a challenge, even just to discover the writing underneath. True, each song is hard to define in terms of genre or musical influence, and perhaps that can be considered a good thing, but it also makes it harder to identify with for listeners...So nearly 1200 words in, where does that leave us? Confused, to say the least. ‘Moonshine In The Trunk’ presents few standout hits, particularly commercially, and seems a curious but desperate stab to push boundaries in a way that’ll make him relevant again. Brad didn’t take his time with this album, and it shows. Despite this, there are some genuinely good songs and the majority is rooted in country, it just takes quite some searching to find. I guess all great artists are capable of making a mistake or two when pushed into the corner.

Average Joes Entertainment’s Lenny Cooper is amongst the new breed of superheroes in the second edition of “The Average Joes,” a new comic book series, published by 12-Gauge Comics, featuring Colt Ford and Friends selflessly using their superpowers against all evil.  
On August 26th Cooper released his third studio album THE GRIND (BackRoad/ Average Joes) and it made a debut on the BB200 at #142 (#17 Country) selling 2,400 copies.
The project was executive produced by Shannon “Fat Shan” Houchins and Lenny Cooper and all 12 tracks were written or co-written by Cooper himself.  Highlighted songs include “Hell Yeah,” featuring country star and label mate, Colt Ford, and Demun Jones; “Same Ole Dust,” featuring former American Idol contestant, Sarah Ross, and “Back In The Woods,” featuring Tyler Wood from the top-rated Discovery reality TV series, “Moonshiners.”

In their second chart week Chase Rice with IGNITE THE NIGHT fell 3-18 (1-3 Country) on the BB200 (sales down 68%) and the Motley Crue tribute album (which features Justin Moore’s “Home Sweet Home”) slipped 5-22 on the BB200 (2-4 Country, sales down 60%)

Of Note: Shovels & Rope, the critically acclaimed duo of Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent made a debut at No.20 on the Billboard 200 & No.1 on the Billboard Folk charts with sales of 12,619 copies of their sophomore album SWIMMIN’ TIME (Dualtone Music) which released August 26.
Swimmin’ Time is the highly-anticipated follow up to the band’s 2012 breakthrough debut “O’ Be Joyful”, which garnered unanimous praise from the press. Swimmin’ Time features 13 new songs that maintain the elemental Shovels & Rope songwriting and sound while incorporating new ingredients to the mix. Last year the roots-rock newcomers won Emerging Artist and Song of the Year awards at the Americana Awards presented to them at the historic Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013.

Critical reception for Shovel’s & Rope’s “Swimmin’ Time”:
15 Tracks/ Time: :05:15  Indie Rock, Alt Country, Americana CD - UK iTunes - Amazon.com 

Pop Matters (Rating: 9/10) ...These are the best of times for the Americana super duo Shovels and Rope. In a span of five years, the husband and wife team of Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst have snatched national prominence from the jaws of certain obscurity using little more than a couple of beat up drums and two old guitars.....The newest release, Swimmin’ Time, out via Dualtone, is the culmination of everything that makes Shovels and
Rope the most exciting Americana act in recent years. There is a great back story there, certainly, but any passionate romance is predicate upon reciprocation. While both musicians could’ve done quite fine in their own right, it is only by reinforcing each other’s strength while simultaneously propping up the others weaknesses that together they create the tour-de-force that Shovels and Rope have become. Swimmin’ Time is the product of our generation’s June Carter and Johnny Cash after the messy past has been laid to rest. It may not be readily apparent yet, but history will prove it so....Swimmin’ Time showcases the best of both old and new music, the idealized
past and the disgusting, bloody, senseless present. Lyrics to make the soul shake loose from out of your chest meet harmonies that will convert new audiences through pure emotive conviction. Is this article a bit romanticized? You’re goddamn right it is. There isn’t too much praise by either critic or publication these days that isn’t paid for in some way. These words are free.

Guardian (4 STARS) ...Swimmin' Time follows on winningly, pitching drawling vocal harmonies against a bluesy, lo-fi backdrop of guitar, piano and drums; a rawer version of the now defunct Civil Wars. The songs, however, are finely spun, whether addressing burnt-out romance (Bridge on Fire) or evoking creepy villains ("I'm a lunatic looking through a keyhole," boasts the narrator of Evil). An aquatic theme embraces floods, fishing and even a 1963 submarine disaster, veering between exuberance and tragedy. Tough, visceral stuff.

AllMusic (Rating: 3.5/ 5 STARS)...Not unlike their 2012 breakthrough album O' Be Joyful, Shovels & Rope's second album for Dualtone, 2014's Swimmin' Time, suggests Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst bought some privately published guidebook on "How To Write and Records Americana Music Like The Professionals" and have carefully followed the template to the letter. The arrangements have the correct balance of rootsy acoustic flavors and messed-up electric noise, the melodies are steeped in tradition but have a self-consciously clever indie rock edge, and the lyrics deal with the usual themes of natural disasters, human failings, small town eccentricities, and our land's checkered past. But if there aren't a lot of surprises in terms of theme and approach, Swimmin' Time confirms that skill of execution is Shovels & Rope's saving grace...You've almost certainly heard other acts do what Shovels & Rope do on Swimmin' Time plenty of times; the difference is, this duo can do it better than most, and that's enough to keep them going until they're capable of developing a more unique personality to call their own.

2014 Country Album sales Year-To Date:
19,753,000 (Physical sales 13,089,000 (down 9%) + Digital sales 6,665,000 (down -15.4%)) which is 22.7% down at the same point in 2013 (25,558,000 sales)

Billboard Top 200 / Country Album Placings

(Issue dated Chart week of September 13, 2014)
(Country Album positions #1 - #25)
(TW) This Week, (LW) Last Week, Co (Country Album Chart placing / Movement)

Billboard Catalog Albums

Jason Aldean's NIGHT TRAIN made the transition to Catalog status in its 98th week of release. A #1 album in November 2012, it has not yet left the Billboard 200 since its release. This is the fifth Catalog album for Aldean, which includes his entire studio output to date. A sixth album, "Old Boots, New Dirt", is due out in October.
Aldean’s fifth studio album NIGHT TRAIN released October 16, 2012 fairly steamrolled to a No.1 on the Billboard Top 200 chart selling 409,303 copies sold in its first week. It currently makes its debut at No.30 on Catalog Albums and holds at No.145 on the Billboard 200

Top 25 Hot Country Songs (week of September 13, 2014)

On Billboard’s Hot Country Songs chart - which blends:
a) All-format airplay, as monitored by BDS 
b) Sales, as tracked by Nielsen SoundScan and
c) Streaming, (tracked by Nielsen BDS from such services as Spotify, Muve, Slacker, Rhapsody, Rdio and Xbox Music, among others) according to BDS it results in:

  • Jason Aldean extended his longest chart-topping reign on Hot Country Songs with “Burnin’ It Down” (Broken Bow), which ruled the survey a sixth straight week. “Burnin’ also claimed a sixth week at the Country Digital Songs summit (76,000, down 8%) and a fourth week at No.1 on Country Streaming Songs (2.6 million U.S. streams, down 1%). The song is the “hot” lead single from Old Boots, New Dirt, Aldean’s sixth studio album, due Oct. 7.
  • Cole Swindell landed a second Hot Country Songs top 10, “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” (Warner Bros./Warner Music Nashville), returned to the upper tier and established a new peak (12-9), surpassing its previous No.10 high point (Aug. 30). He first reached the region with his debut single, “Chillin’ It,” which began a two-week reign on March 1.
  • Darius Rucker posted a career-high start on Hot Country Songs, as “Homegrown Honey” (Capitol Nashville) made a Hot Debut Shot bow at No.25. This bests the No. 26 arrival of “True Believers” (Sept. 15, 2012). The new track which entered No. 25 on country Digital Songs with 25,000 downloads sold, previews Rucker’s next album, which is due early 2015.
Top 25 Hot Country Songs:

Jason Aldean with “Burnin’ It Down” stays Top the chart! 
Florida Georgia Line with former #1“Dirt” holds at #2
Kenny Chesney with “American Kids” holds at #3
Lady Antebellum with “Bartender” is up one, #5 - #4 p
Dierks Bentley with “Drunk On A Plane” slips, #4 - #5 q
Sam Hunt with “Leave The Night On” holds at #6
Luke Bryan with “Roller Coaster” is up one, #8 - #7 p
Dustin Lynch with “Where It’s At” (Yep, Yep) climbs, #9 - #8 p
Cole Swindell with “Hope You Get Lonely Tonight” lifts three, #12 - #9 p
Tim McGraw feat Faith Hill with “Meanwhile Back At Mama’s” falls three, #7 - #10 q
Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood’s former #1 “Somethin’ Bad” stay at #11
Chase Rice with “Ready Set Roll” is up one, #13 - #12 p
Brantley Gilbert with “Small Town Throwdown” is up two, #15 - #13 p
Frankie Ballard with “Sunshine & Whiskey” climbs two, #16 - #14 p
Brad Paisley with “River Bank” drops one, #14 - #15 q
Maddie & Tae with “Girl In A Country Song” is up one, #17 - #16 p
Blake Shelton with “Neon Light” is up one slot, #18 - #17 p
Little Big Town with “Day Drinking” climbs one, #19 - #18 p
Eli Young Band with “Dust” lifts two, #21 - #19 p
Eric Church with “Cold One” sticks at #20
Keith Urban with “Somewhere In My Car” is up two, #23 - #21 p
The Swon Brothers with “Later On” holds at #22
Big & Rich with “Look At You” move up two, #25 - #23 p
Zac Brown with “All Alright” holds at #24
Darius Rucker with “Homegrown Honey” debuts at #25 NEW

Hot County Songs
** No.1 (6 weeks)  ** “Burnin’ It Down” Jason Aldean
** Airplay Gainer ** No.12 “
** Digital Gainer/ Streaming ** No.7 “Roller Coaster” Luke Bryan
** Hot Shot Debut ** No.25 “Homegrown Honey” Darius Rucker
Debut No.39 "That Don’t Sound Like You” Lee Brice
Debut No.41 "Mean To Me" Brett Eldredge
Debut No.43 “Mind Reader” Dustin Lynch
Debut No.48 “Makes Me Wanna” Thomas Rhett

Billboard Country Airplay Chart Week of September 13, 2014

Lady Antebellum scored its second straight and ninth overall leader on Billboard’s Country Airplay chart, as “Bartender” (Capitol Nashville) bumped up 3-1 dethroning label mate Dierks Bentley with is 2-week chart topper Drunk on a Plane” .
In its 16th chart frame “Bartender” logged 49.508 million audience impressions (+2.916 million) and received 7,277 radio plays (+236)

The song written by band members Dave Haywood, Charles Kelley and Hillary Scott along with Rodney Clawson was first released to country radio on May 12, 2014 as the lead single from the group's forthcoming sixth studio album, 747, due to drop Sept. 30. 

The new No. 1 follows “Compass,” which crowned the March 22 chart, marking the threesome’s first set of consecutive chart-toppers since “Just a Kiss” led on Aug. 20, 2011, followed by “We Owned the Night” (Dec. 10, 2011). The trio’s longest No. 1 streak is four: “I Run to You,” “Need You Now” (both in 2009), “American Honey” and “Our Kind of Love” (both 2010). Lady A also led with “Downtown” (April 27, 2013).
Top local audience contenders for “Bartender” during the Aug. 25-31 Nielsen BDS tracking week: WUSN Chicago (1.5 million impressions), WNSH New York (1.2 million) and WUBL Atlanta (1.1 million.

  • Jason Aldean matched his quickest top 10 climb on Country Airplay with “Burnin’ It Down” (Broken Bow), which rose 11-9 in its sixth chart week to become his 19th top 10. He previously completed a six-week top 10 ascent with “Take a Little Ride” (Sept. 8, 2012). “Burnin’ ” previews Aldean’s sixth studio album, Old Boots, New Dirt due Oct. 7.
  • Miranda Lambert’sSomethin’ Bad,” with Carrie Underwood (RCA Nashville), jumped 14-10 becoming Lambert’s 11th top 10 and Underwood’s 19th. It also completes Lambert’s second set of at least three straight top 10s, following the No. 1 “We Were Us” (with Keith Urban) and the No. 3-peaking “Automatic.” She notched five straight top 10s  with “Heart Like Mine,” “Baggage Claim” (both in 2011), “Over You,” “Fastest Girl in Town” (both 2012) and “Mama’s Broken Heart” (2013).
  • Luke Bryan at No. 5 with "Roller Coaster" snagged Most Increased Audience honours logging 40.200 million audience impressions, a gain of +6.291 million and received 5,931 radio plays (+1,038)
  • Blake Shelton at No.18 with "Neon Light" took home the “Most Added” trophy for a second successive week with 18 fresh radio commitments (ADDS)
  • Lee Brice with "Drinking Class" (Curb) landed at No.48 to win the week’s Hot Shot Debut cup as the highest new entry
  • Pop singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran made a surprise bow at No. 59 on Country Airplay with “Don’t” (Elektra/Atlantic), bagging 508,000 audience impressions from 72 plays at 18 of the chart’s 143 reporters.

Women of Country 2014 Watch:
There were no solo female artists on the Top 30 Country Airplay songs Miranda Lamberts’ duet with Carrie Underwood Somethin’ Bad” moved 14-10. “Girl In A Country Song” by Maddie & Tae climbed 26-23.
RaeLynn #36, Jana Kramer #38, Lucy Hale #54 and Linsay Ell #55 were the four solo females in the remaining 31-60 slots, to make it just 6.6% of the entire Top 60 chart.

Country Airplay
*** No. 1 (1 week)*** "Bartender" Lady Antebellum
** Most Increased Audience ** No. 5 "Roller Coaster" Luke Bryan
** Most Added ** No.18 "Neon Light" Blake Shelton
** Hot Shot Debut ** No. 48 "Drinking Class" Lee Brice
Debut No. 52 "Perfect Storm"Brad Paisley
Debut No. 53 "Hard To Be Cool" Joe Nichols
Debut No. 59 "Don't" Ed Sheeran
Debut No. 60 "Wasn't Gonna Drink Tonight" American Young

 Billboard Country Digital Singles Chart Week of September 13, 2014

  • Jason Aldean's "Burnin' It Down" (Broken Bow / BBMG) held at No.1 with 76,000 downloads sold (down 8%) and also fell at 11-13 on the all genre Digital Songs chart in its sixth chart frame. The now GOLD single has sold 658,000 units to date.
  • At #10 Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’sMeanwhile, Back At Mama’s,” a single which just got multiple CMA Award nominations has now officially gone GOLD passing the ½ million tally selling 514,000 units in 19 chart weeks.
  • Cole Swindell’sHope You Get Lonely Tonight” (14-15) also achieved his second-consecutive GOLD selling (or better single).  Having sold 502,000 downloads in 30 weeks.
Women Of Country Watch
There were no solo female artists on the Top 30 placings. On the Top 50 the lone female was RaeLynn with “God Made Girls” which climbed 43-42

Dropping off the Top 30:
19-47 Lee Brice Girls in Bikinis 
28-34 Chris Young Who I Am With You
29-32 Florida Georgia Line Cruise

Top 30 Digital Singles in Country Music (published September 4, 2014)
 (LW) Last Week (TW) This Week
*Numbers are rounded to nearest 1000th

Country Aircheck/ Mediabase chart

Lady Antebellum moved 3-1 to reach No1 on Mediabase with “Bartender” (Capitol). The song logged 7,758 radio spins (+475) and 56.806 million audience impressions (+3.391 million) from 149 tracking stations for the tracking week Aug 24 to August 30, 2014 and published chart September 2nd.
Congratulations to UMG Nashville SVP/Promotion Royce Risser, Capitol Nashville VP/Promotion Steve Hodges and the entire Capitol Nashville promo team for scoring the week’s #1 single on the MEDIABASE Country singles charts with LADY ANTEBELLUM’s "Bartender."
This is the first #1 from the group’s "747" album, scheduled for release on September 30th.  Sweet treats were due to be delivered to the Capitol Nashville office (Sept 2nd) in celebration.

Congratulations also to Arista Nashville VP/Promotion Lesly Tyson, Dir./National Promotion John Sigler, Dir./National Promotion Jeri Cooper, and the entire Arista Promo team for earning 72 MEDIABASE Country adds with Brad Paisley's "Perfect Storm." Those adds gave Brad the "Most Added" title for the week.
Bagels were due to be delivered to ARISTA's office (September 3rd) to congratulate the staff on their achievement.
For a detailed report check out Country Aircheck Weekly Issue 412 - September 2, 2014 [PDF File]
For the very latest up to the minute Mediabase Chart (Past 7 Days) go here - www.mediabase.com

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